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Viral photo has Internet users in an outrage. Are they right?

Viral photo has Internet users in an outrage. Are they right?
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

You see hoaxes all the time in your Facebook feed and in email chain letters. There'll be some outrageous or infuriating story that will just make your blood boil.

The only problem? Many of them are completely untrue. For example, there's one wedding photo going around the Internet that has everyone in an uproar.

Here's the photo that was posted online:

View post on imgur.com

It appears to show a guest proposing at a wedding and stealing the spotlight from the bride. As hopefully everyone knows, that's almost always a serious no-no.

More than 2.8 million people have viewed the photo and most of those who left comments are calling out the proposer for being rude and selfish, usually with bad language included.

Unfortunately, the person who uploaded the photo didn't provide some key information. The woman being proposed to is the bride's sister. And the proposal at the wedding was the bride's idea.

This is example of something social experts are increasingly worried about called "online shaming." Someone will post something they say is a problem, and thousands or millions of people will pile on with harshly critical comments.

One that post loses steam, the same people will move on to the next big "outrage." Not only is this damaging to the people the post is about, it draws in more and more negative people as time passes, and it does nothing to improve the world.

It's a good reminder for all of us not to make snap judgments about things posted online with incomplete information. Also, before you comment, ask yourself if what you have to say is helping or just adding to the noise.

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