- Workers claim Google made spy tool to prevent them from organizing Wednesday 8:13 PM
- Hailey Bieber denies shading Selena Gomez with ‘I’ll Kill You’ Instagram post Wednesday 7:46 PM
- Trump signed an ego tweet sheet for Tomi Lahren–and it features conspiracy theorists Wednesday 6:59 PM
- Attorneys say ICE deleted evidence pertaining to transgender asylum seeker’s death Wednesday 6:24 PM
- Everything you need to know about VSCO filter codes Wednesday 6:17 PM
- Are users prepared to pay for Gmail storage space? Wednesday 6:09 PM
- Facebook pledges $1 billion to fight housing crisis it helped create Wednesday 5:16 PM
- Lizzo officially credits ‘DNA test’ tweet writer on ‘Truth Hurts’ Wednesday 4:50 PM
- Pornhub takes down videos secretly filmed in a college women’s locker room Wednesday 4:15 PM
- Google Maps on iPhone now shows you speed traps Wednesday 3:47 PM
- Here’s why you’re seeing ‘rise and shine’ all over social media Wednesday 3:45 PM
- AOC grills Zuckerberg over false political ads on Facebook Wednesday 3:27 PM
- Fox News promotes pro-faith, anti-antifa film ‘The Reliant’ Wednesday 3:17 PM
- Cardi B to star in ‘Fast & Furious 9’ Wednesday 3:12 PM
- AOC on opening her DMs: ‘By this morning, it was trash’ Wednesday 2:26 PM
A century ago, we had old wives’ tales, but today our misinformation is shared on and legitimized by social media. You may have recently noticed this viral factoid making the rounds:
OMG the numbers on a toaster are for how many minutes it toasts for!! What the hell I thought it was the level of toastiness, 6 being burnt!
— Scarlett Moffatt (@ScarlettMoffatt) December 4, 2014
So apparently the numbers on the side of the toaster represent minutes! I always thought it meant the degrees of toasty-ness
— THEGUYWITHNOLEFTHAND (@StumpyTweets) December 4, 2014
wtf am I the only person that knew the numbers on a toaster indicated minutes not toastness intensity???
— Ellen Taylor-Andrews (@effyandrews) December 10, 2014
There’s nothing too difficult about verifying such a claim, but nobody bothered to do so—until now.
YouTube personality Tom Scott, who revels in this type of trivia with his “Things You Might Not Know” series, was sick of the factoid’s thoughtless acceptance across Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, so he got four toasters and some sliced bread and tried to prove everyone wrong. He almost succeeded, too.
I guess the real lesson here is to always do your toasting at work.
Photo via Tom Scott/YouTube
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'