Is Reading this Article Going to Put You in Terrible Danger?


Wow! I had not heard of Betteridge’s brknisbfer
. But after my post about the “dangers” of kids overheating in bounce houses, a reader named Richard sent this comment, which I very much appreciate!

Always remember Betteridge’s Law:  Any headline that asks a yes-or-no question rather than making a statement can be answered “No.”

“Do Inflatable Bounce Houses Pose Heat-related Hazards to Children?

“Was Hitler a secret Jew?”

“Do socks give you colon cancer?”

Always works.  Most of the time.

Is this law going to change your life significantly?

Is it more helpful than knowing how to make ramen?

How do you spell a short word that means “in the negative”?

Anyway — a great and quick lesson I hadn’t gotten in all my years in the media.


Wiil this elephant turn this family's day into a disaster? (OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)

Will this elephant turn this family’s day into a disaster? (OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)




17 Responses to Is Reading this Article Going to Put You in Terrible Danger?

  1. Jessica August 18, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    Hilarious. I love it

  2. Christopher Byrne August 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    You just unmasked the entire industry of news “promotion” and current politics. Except that it’s more like statements, as in, “You won’t believe the common household items in your pantry that could be threatening your long-term health.”

    No, I won’t, and I don’t.

  3. John B. August 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    First time I ever heard of Betteridge’s Law. Makes lots of sense! So the headline can now read, “Is Betteridge’s Law a myth?”

  4. lollipoplover August 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    “To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means ‘don’t bother reading this bit’.[9]”

    To a busy parent hunting for real advise, it means there will probably be more questions than answers in the article. It also highlights how many first world problems we are preoccupying parents with and taking attention away from important safety topics, like in-home accidents and drownings.

  5. EricS August 18, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Can’t really confirm if Socrates actually said this, but using simple common sense, logic and reasoning, this can be applied to many of the hearsays and glorified headline readers. The Test of Three.

  6. Jana August 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Love it! 🙂

  7. m August 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm #


  8. SKL August 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Speaking of recent article headlines, this week I’ve seen an old tired one in the news – “parents are letting their babies sleep in ‘unsafe’ ways.” Apparently they are still trying to convince parents that putting babies to bed in uncomfortable, cold, lonely situations, thus preventing proper sleep and causing developmental problems, is the only way to keep them alive. Despite all sorts of research showing that SIDS is associated with things that have nothing to do with having a blankie or stuffie or lying in the most natural sleep postion. Sigh.

    And they don’t even bother to mention the real risk factors – like old dirty musty mattresses; smoking; respiratory infection (which I suspect is associated because of giving cough medicine). Oh, and laying a swaddled baby face-down. (WHO would do that?)

    The Powers That Be have decided that sleep is not necessary for babies, and they are shocked that some parents are calling BS. The horrors! It turns out most parents let their kids sleep wih a blanket in their beds, even after all those years of warning. Amazing the species hasn’t died out by now.

  9. Papilio August 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    “Is Reading this Article Going to Put You in Terrible Danger?”

    Well, who knows what you witches are capable of…!

  10. SanityAnyone? August 18, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    That could really save me a lot of time reading dumb articles.

  11. Backroads August 18, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    SKL, saw the same articles. I remember seeing the actual numbers once, and the difference in death numbers was surprisingly miniscule.

  12. Art August 18, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    sorry for the thread jack, but the comment about sleeping babies reminded of Babywise. Babywise is a form of baby care is essentially child abuse.

    Attachment disorders, (kids with no conscience) is just the tip of the iceberg with Babywise.

    Spread the word, more information here

  13. Becks August 19, 2016 at 2:50 am #

    Wow! It seems so clear now. I can stop watching lots of crap documentary tv shows with similar titles. The ones that look really interesting but actually never come to any conclusion about the subject matter.

  14. sexhysteria August 19, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Do people really need to be “informed” by the mass “news” media? No.

  15. Diane August 19, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    @EricS, my sons first grade teacher used a variation of that in class to curb tattling and gossip and mean talk in general. She called it ThiNK. Is it true? Is it necessary to say? Is it kind?
    I liked it.

  16. EricS August 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    @Diane: this is what I was taught growing up. Many of the positive things parents are learning/re-learning today, was the norm when I was growing up. I was always taught to THINK before speaking, while keeping the “golden rule” in mind. It’s stuck with me throughout my childhood and adolescent life. That going into my 20’s and later years, up to now, it’s second nature for me to be like this. I don’t think about doing it, I just do. This is why kids need to be taught early, so everything becomes automatic for them as they are older. Not them having to learn something new as adults. It’s harder for adults to learn than kids. Especially when it comes to these things, most adults would rather just say “fk it”, and continue being the “less than” person they could have been. Parents today have no foresight. And even if they did, they’re too insecure and afraid to follow through with their kids. Sad. They set up their children for failure, and they don’t even realize it.

  17. invader August 20, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    This reminds me of an old proverb if you dont see it with your eyes dont witness it with your mouth.