Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The First Website I Remember Visiting

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A black magnifying glass magnifying a page that has the word facts printed on it over and over again for ten lines. The words are written in white ink and have been placed on a blue surface. The first website I remember visiting is

When I was a kid, there were some people in my life who liked to forward chain emails about all sorts of conspiracy theories and urban legends. Their critical thinking skills were rather weak at times, so I eventually began looking up everything they sent me on Snopes and replying to them with links to that site that disproved rumours like the one about strangers giving out poisoned Halloween candy or the one about people being drugged by strangers and having their kidneys stolen.

Sometimes that link was all I replied with if the conspiracy theory or urban legend was a bigoted and/or ridiculous one. I’m a patient person in general, but I draw a firm line at stuff that is used to harm people or that is so obviously untrue even a child should be immediately suspicious of it.

Eventually, they stopped forwarding any of those sorts of emails to me at all.

Adult Lydia would have been a bit more tactful when sharing links to disprove yet another wacky email, but I still think that people should research the information they share online before insisting that Scary Internet Story #567 is 100% true and that everyone should panic about things that a) are so vague no one has found proof of them really happening, b) are medically or scientifically impossible, and/or c) have been recklessly misinterpreted in the worst possible light while leaving out information that is critical to understanding the truth. Mixing what is at best a teaspoon of fractured facts into a frothy gallon of pure nonsense helps no one except scam artists.

Now I’m wondering if I should start reading Snopes again. I only have a couple of people still left in my life who believe in conspiracy theories and urban legends, so I don’t know too much about the current crop of them.

If you have a favourite lighthearted urban legend or conspiracy theory, tell me about it. I’m personally intrigued by the Area 51 lore and what the U.S. government might really be doing there.


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24 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The First Website I Remember Visiting

  1. Lydia, thats the sort of thing I’d do too. I tend to google facts and things and direct people to whatever I find that disproves their nonsense. 🤣

  2. I actually use several fact checking sites these days because I have trust issues and most sites have a bias one way or the other, including Snopes. For politics in particular, I use — but some days I feel like finding actual truth is impossible with the piles of disinformation available. Still, I do my best!

    Also, it’s always, always aliens. I get the biggest kick out of all the shows out there now about it. “Ancient Alien Astronauts did…” I mean, I don’t doubt there’s life out there, but…

  3. I am completely open to alien…. and I think Men in Black was a documentary… just sayin’ 😉

  4. I’ve shared this one before…There’s a large abandoned rock quarry at the edge of my town. People driving past see the quarry pond from above and call it the lake. Serious records say it’s about 90′ deep at the shallow end, maybe twice that at the deep end.

    Urban legends, some solemnly repeated by divers to certain types of audience, say it’s 200 and 300 feet, that there are undertows leading into caves in which people could easily be trapped, and that the catfish on the bottom could swallow a man in two bites.

    Strangely, there’s no record of anyone having been lost in the pond, though crowds of teenagers used to swim and dive in it before the title passed to someone who was worried about liability.

  5. I would be lost today doing research without the web. I never did chain e-mails.

  6. I used to hear a lot about chain e-mails, but I never got any, luckily. I think I would have just deleted them.

  7. Wendy Williams

    I used to go to snopes quite a bit. I can’t remember the first website I went to.

  8. That’s… really funny. I was very active (under a different name) on the snopes boards back in the day. I found them after about the third Hillary Clinton Death List email I received, when I finally got irritated enough to start searching around.

  9. I still do read Snopes. I’ve definitely used it in the past to pull people up on blatant errors.

  10. Do you remember the year you first got online? I ask because while I got online for the first time in ’97 or ’98, Snopes wasn’t something I found until the mid 2000s. I can’t remember exactly what the first website I access was, but there’s a good chance it was,,, or (Yes, back when it was obscene. I was obsessed with presidents at the time and didn’t know about .gov, .edu, etc. To me the World Wide Web was the internet, and everything on the internet started with www and ended “.com”!)

    • It was the winter of 1998-1999, I believe. Possibly in January? So we’re pretty similar in that regard.

      I’d forgotten about Too funny. Yeah, back then it was easier for anyone to grab any domain name.

  11. Snopes was my JAM! I used to visit that site all the time before I’d pass on any of those e-mails too! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who does that.

  12. The first website I ever went on was as an 11 year old in 1996, on a website about the Picts, whom I’d come across when studying the Romans at school (being British, we studied the Romans’ impact on britain more than other things.

    I’m also bogged down in people who believe in bs. I remember twenty years ago it was things immigrants were supposedly doing, now it’s moved on to trans. (An urban myth I’ve heard just last week is about girls at a school all ‘identifying as broccoli’).

    I’m glad you challenge these swallowers of bs; I don’t tend to bother myself as I think they’re a lost cause. But I do take my hat off to you.

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