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Old 06-28-2013, 03:21 PM
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Are half of Snapple's "Real Facts" intentionally false?

I know this sounds a little ridiculous, but I need this settled once and for all: what's the deal with Snapple's "Real Facts" campaign? Many people I know operate on the assumption that they're true unless the fact-writers make a mistake, but I've also heard it claimed that they're 50% false by design.

Certainly there are mistakes, and some are worded so poorly that whether you call them true or not depends on how generous feel like being, that much is pretty non-debatable. Still, I can't shake the feeling that there used to be a section of Snapple's website where you entered the fact number on the cap and they'd reveal if it was true or false, and now I can't find any evidence of this anywhere on the web. Hell, I even found newspaper puff-pieces about the inaccuracy of Snapple facts that only talk about "occasional errors", but make no reference to the idea of the company running a tongue-in-cheek disinformation campaign.

Meanwhile: here's a picture of a Snapple cap that's apparently being pretty straightforward about it:

http://therealtruth.info/images/7.jpg

What's going on here?

Last edited by gmeadows; 06-28-2013 at 03:24 PM.
Old 06-28-2013, 03:46 PM
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The "real fact" in quotes doesn't look like it's a part of the original image.
Old 06-28-2013, 03:56 PM
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If Snapple's "Real Facts" started with #1, and were often of dubious accuracy, I could easily see someone photoshopping a "Real Fact #0" like that.
Old 06-28-2013, 04:04 PM
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Huh. Okay. I'd considered the possibility, but I have a really poor eye for detecting Photoshoppery, admittedly; if you think that's definitively shopped I'll accept that.

But the larger issue still puzzles me -- I'm not basing it on that image, it's just what I scared up on an image search. I also still have a pretty vivid memory of Snapple once having that "fact-checker"section of website (it had an cartoony image of a large machine, you entered the cap number, and you saw a little animation of the cap rolling into the machine before it quoted the fact and declared it true or false). This was years ago, though -- no sign of it now.

The term "Real Facts" always appears in quotes on these caps, incidentally.

Last edited by gmeadows; 06-28-2013 at 04:05 PM.
Old 06-28-2013, 04:18 PM
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The "Real Fact #0" looks like it could be photoshopped in, but only because all of the text, with the possible exception of "Get all the 'Real Facts' at snapple.com" is photoshopped in. There is no "Real Fact #0" and if there were, there would be hundreds of different photos of it on the web, and not just this single picture.
Old 06-28-2013, 04:30 PM
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Snapple has the official list of Real Facts online:Unofficial private blog list.

There is no official Real Facts #0. The image you posted is fake.


Real Fact #36 - A duck's quack doesn't echo. This is false.

Last edited by Duckster; 06-28-2013 at 04:33 PM.
Old 06-28-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
The "Real Fact #0" looks like it could be photoshopped in, but only because all of the text, with the possible exception of "Get all the 'Real Facts' at snapple.com" is photoshopped in. There is no "Real Fact #0" and if there were, there would be hundreds of different photos of it on the web, and not just this single picture.
Okay, then. I'm still interested in the possible urban legend regarding 50% being untrue by design, whether or not there was a cap about it. See above -- I feel like someone must know something about the history of the campaign, here. To my knowledge it's been running since the late 90s, at least.

I recall quite vividly looking up stacks of snapple facts on the old website, and plenty of them coming up false -- we did this at my old job at a pizzeria on breaks for a few days, before we got bored of it. We had a lot of caps to work with.
Old 06-28-2013, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Snapple has the official list of Real Facts online:Unofficial private blog list.

There is no official Real Facts #0. The image you posted is fake.


Real Fact #36 - A duck's quack doesn't echo. This is false.
I like that, as mentioned in the blog and verified in Snapple's own list view,

399. Manhattan was the first capital of the United States.
662. Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States.
Old 06-28-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
I like that, as mentioned in the blog and verified in Snapple's own list view,

399. Manhattan was the first capital of the United States.
662. Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States.

Which furthers my conviction they're just screwing with us. Hell, even fact #1 is wrong. And #31 is the old myth about people accidentally swallowing spiders while they sleep, which pretty much everyone knows is false.
Old 06-29-2013, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenBeam View Post
I like that, as mentioned in the blog and verified in Snapple's own list view,

399. Manhattan was the first capital of the United States.
662. Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States.
Both of these facts are true depending on how you define "the United States."
Old 06-29-2013, 05:30 AM
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^ New York City =/= Manhattan, though. They might try to make the claim based on the political boundaries of 1785, or something, but generally it's New York and not Manhattan that's considered a former capital.
Old 06-29-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeadows View Post
^ New York City =/= Manhattan, though. They might try to make the claim based on the political boundaries of 1785, or something, but generally it's New York and not Manhattan that's considered a former capital.
Fair enough.
Old 06-29-2013, 01:27 PM
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Update: I was stuck waiting for someone to show up and in front of an internet connection, so I figured I'd have a look at that list of facts and see how many of the first 100 survived a google check.

I extended the benefit of the doubt to a few I couldn't find anything on, but still over half appear to be false.


I'll share the results if anyone is curious, but I'm perfectly willing to accept that I might be alone in my (mild) outrage, here.
Old 06-29-2013, 02:15 PM
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I'd probably be outraged if I weren't already numbed by the internet in general being worse than that.
Old 06-29-2013, 02:42 PM
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I don't know, if I saw even a blog post that had 50% of its facts wrong, I think my reaction would be "this is an extraordinarily bad blog post" and not "this is the norm for blog posts I have read."

A certain amount of the internet is just people talking, and I'm sure that's worse, but I'm less offended when it's just people chatting and not stuff being presented as true with some pseudo-authority.

Of course, OMGFacts or whatever it is is definitely just as bad as Snapple. As are many chain emails.

Last edited by gmeadows; 06-29-2013 at 02:43 PM.
Old 06-30-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Real Fact #36 - A duck's quack doesn't echo. This is false.
The way you posted this is ambiguous. I cannot tell whether "This is false" is part of the "Real Fact", or whether it is your comment on it.

I am here now to report that Real Fact #36 is simply, "A duck's quack doesn't echo." That is patently false, leading me to conclude that there may be other "Real Facts" which are also false.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Real Fact #53
The average women consumes six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.
They also have spelling/grammar errors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Real Fact 146
The smallest county in America is New York County, better known as Manhattan.
Wikipedia says that Manahattan ranks #2, and that Kalawao County, Hawaii is about half the size of Manhattan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Real Fact 163
The first penny had the motto "Mind your own business."
Absurd. See also Wikipedia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Real Fact 180
The first VCR was made in 1956 and was the size of a piano.
This is either wrong, or another spelling error. The "C" in VCR stands for "cassette". The first recorders were on reel-to-reel tapes, and were called VTRs. The convenient cassette format came later.

'Nuff said.
Old 06-30-2013, 07:52 AM
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"Mind Your Own Business" is a simple misquote. The Fugio Cent actually said "Mind Your Business." Slightly different connotation.
Old 06-30-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Krokodil View Post
"Mind Your Own Business" is a simple misquote. The Fugio Cent actually said "Mind Your Business." Slightly different connotation.
Wonderful. So, at best, these Real Facts are true, but loaded with spelling errors, grammar errors, exaggerations, and misquotes.
Old 06-30-2013, 09:28 AM
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While quite a few of the Snapple "real facts" are false, the OP's question is whether they are deliberately false.
Old 06-30-2013, 11:46 AM
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Does this mean that Snapple may not actually be made from the best stuff on Earth!?
Old 07-01-2013, 05:01 AM
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Others that are obviously false:

Quote:
8 A bee has five eyelids.
Really? Bees have compound eyes and no eyelids.

Quote:
13 Cats have over 100 vocal chords.
I'm pretty sure they meant that cats have over 100 different vocalizations, not vocal chords.

Quote:
20 Broccoli is the only vegetable that is also a flower.
Artichokes are flowers. So are squash blossoms and cauliflowers.

Quote:
54 The average smell weighs 760 nanograms.
I don't even know how to make sense of this. A smell is a perception - it has no weight (or mass). Maybe it refers to the minimum mass that the average person can smell, but even this doesn't make much sense, since the nose is more sensitive to some compounds than others.

Quote:
59 Brain waves can be used to power an electric train.
The total power consumed by the brain isn't anywhere close to the power required to run an electric train. Maybe they meant that brain waves can be used to control an electric train - something that is possible with modern technology.

Quote:
70 Caller ID is illegal in California.
Many people in California have Caller ID.

I'll stop now - this is too easy.
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Last edited by Jeff Lichtman; 07-01-2013 at 05:01 AM.
Old 07-01-2013, 04:44 PM
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Actually the thing about measuring the weight of "smells" comes from an actual study, odd as it sounds. It's only the part where they make up an average weight that's bull; the number doesn't seem to appear in any of the reporting on the study and the concept of "average" in that context is nonsensical. "Average mass of odor-producing particles necessary to be detected as a scent by a human when in a certain concentration, maybe?

If that's what they mean, though, they didn't come anywhere near enough to saying that and again, I don't know where the actual number came from. Still counted it as false when I made my grand tally.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeadows View Post
Actually the thing about measuring the weight of "smells" comes from an actual study, odd as it sounds. It's only the part where they make up an average weight that's bull; the number doesn't seem to appear in any of the reporting on the study and the concept of "average" in that context is nonsensical.
760 nanograms is in the NewScientist link:
Quote:
When, for example, they injected into the chamber a saturated vapour of a substance called B-ionine, the balance registered 760 nanograms. This was the total amount of B-ionine that the lipid bilayer absorbed.
(Not that I'm saying that calling that the weight of an average smell is valid.)
Old 07-01-2013, 08:52 PM
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Oops. Well, this is what I get for trying to comment on things between naps while lying around the house with a fever. I suspect I was looking at a different article discussing the study when I first looked that one up. But thank you.
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