Think of this as Volume 18, Number 2 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
Because “Googling it” is just so damned easy, and it's something that more of us need to make a habit of.
I can't tell you how often, while on social networks, someone makes a claim that can be easily sustained or (more often) refuted with a quick Google search. I've been making a habit of this since before Google existed. As soon as Yahoo came along, in 1994, I was checking my facts through it, and linking to those facts, “link rot” be damned.
Maybe we should be careful about this, and cautious, but I find most editors brain dead on that score. They reject links to Wikipedia and to competitors' stories. I'm old enough to remember when papers routinely credited competitors for scoops before adding their two cents. Now they refuse to, even though it's much easier to do than it was. It's stupid and selfish.