Yesterday on my Facebook page I also received what supposedly was a quote from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The posting stated:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

I made an assumption that the quote was in reference to the death of Osama bin Laden who had previously been killed by U.S. Navy Seals. On the night that it was announced that this terrorist had in fact been killed, it was hard not to feel a tinge of relief knowing that bin Laden was in fact dead. But when reading the alleged words from Martin Luther King, Jr., it did give one pause for reflection as to our affliction of hatred.

After checking the alleged quotation, we come to find out that this is a fake quote. The last three sentences are found in a previous Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, but someone added the first sentence. However this is just one quote of many that we have all received and I know I am as guilty as the next person for having forwarded it on to others.

So are the people who post these alleged quotations trying to deceive us? I seriously doubt that is the purpose. It is a simple case of something that gets posted and is either misquoted or even misunderstood by those who repeat the posting. It is easy to see how this can happen as this quotation is copied and pasted over and over again. A word here, a word there gets left off or in the worst case scenario, someone adds something to the original quotation.

The Internet is a great tool and I believe that it is one of the most valuable resources that we have. Unfortunately it can also be a source of misinformation that detracts from the overall experience. Even though the quotation above might not have been 100% accurate, one can see how it received credibility since it does sound like something Martin Luther King, Jr. could have said.

Which does lead me to think, even though the quotation was not 100% accurate, was any real harm done? Just my two cents. I am sure others will have a different opinion.