Urban Legends

"Those MLK and Mark Twain Quotes You're Spreading on Facebook and Twitter Are Fake"


Reports Gizmodo.

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  1. Aren’t they always? People can’t even figure out that Mars will never be as big in our sky as the Moon (unless super aliens propel it in our direction), so it’s little surprise that they can’t get quotes right.

    Also, the Internet.

    1. Liars + retards = the chatosphere.

      Present company exempted, of course.*


      1. Oh, anonypussy, you just can’t resist your passive aggressive nagging, can you. Don’t you have a real life person to nag the shit out of? Probably not.

        1. not since you ran out on him and started shacking up with Nutra Sweet while ProGLib filmed.

          yeah. it’s true. a french marine new york journalist pirate frankish king told me!

          1. That’s unfair. I merely produced.

            1. doh! that’s right. Was it crane who was filming? Highnumber was out recruiting at the time…


              1. Crane is an actor/director, right?

    2. The Mars one never ceases to amaze me. A coworker of mine just ran into it for the first time last week. First, a caveat. He’s brilliant. I mean raw intellectual horsepower, top 1% brilliant. Math genius. But he comes from the Dominican Republic and his science education is entirely from personal reading and TV (in a second language).

      He had to ask me if the Mars email was possible. He suspected that it didn’t make sense, but wasn’t sure why. It kinda broke my spirit. I mean, this guy is smarter than you (for very large sample sizes of “you”). And he wasn’t immediately 100% sure that Mars didn’t appear as large as the full moon in the sky in 1999.

      And you wonder why appeals to group-think and raw emotion devoid of any grounding in reality work in the popularity contest of US politics?

      1. I’ve personally debunked this one multiple times. Mars has a diameter that’s about half of Earth’s; the Moon’s is about a quarter of Earth’s. For Mars to be the same size or bigger, it would have to get pretty danged close–say, as close as twice the orbital radius of the Moon.

        Problem is, Mars is, at its closest, about 34 million miles away. And it gets as far away as 249 million miles. The Moon is roughly 240,000 miles away.

        1. For Mars to be the same size or bigger, it would have to get pretty danged close–say, as close as twice the orbital radius of the Moon.

          That or the Moon would have to get pretty danged far away. 🙂

          1. Yes, that’s right, I omitted the Space 1999 option. No more unlikely than Mars suddenly approaching within a million miles of Earth, I suppose.

            1. i say we make “pretty danged close” an official interstellar measurement unit (equivalent to twice the orbital radius of the Moon) and call it PL in honor of its creator.
              Steven Hawking: How many PL units is that?
              Astronomer: I…I don’t know what a PL unit is, sir
              Hawking: WWHHHAAATTT!? Eject this man from the earth!

              1. That would be such an honor.

        2. I must confess that I hadn’t heard this one. But I live a sheltered life.

          One version of the emails did apparently say “At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.” [my italics]

          Well, duh, with ??-power magnification any number of distant or small objects can be made to look as big as the moon.

          Snopes has a pretty good rundown.

  2. What? Quotations too good to be true are too good to be true? The MLK one was too precious. Who would he have been referring to? His own assassin? The Twain/Darrow one at least sounds like them.

  3. I hadn’t seen either of those, and regardless of whether MLK said the first, I like it. This whole thing has been kind of macabre in a way – TV anchors acting like they’re cheering on a football game or something.

    That said, I feel no pity for OBL and he deserved to die. He wanted a war, he started it by ordering and facilitating the killing a bunch of innocent people, and now he’s received justice.

    I just kind of wish people would be a bit more sober about it.

  4. Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, get ice cream for dessert.

    – The Franklin Mint

    1. “Rousseau is a dick.”


      1. “I drank what?”

        – Socrates

        1. “Jean-Paul Sartre is a fartre.”
          — Borges

          1. The funny thing is, all of these quotes are likely accurate.

          2. The real ones are always the best:

            “I want to thank you for the importance that you’ve shown for education and literacy.”

            ?G.W. Bush

            1. “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to wash his hands, hoist his socks, and begin to gather flowers.” – H. L. Mencken

              1. “I’m not afraid to duel some dude in a wheelchair.”

                –Alexander Hamilton

                1. “You can shoot some of the people all the time, shoot all of the people some of the time, but shoot me twice, shame on you.” – Harry Truman

                  1. “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubble gum”

                    -Roddy Piper

          3. Camus can do, but Sartre is smartre.

              1. “Au Revoir, gopher.”

                -Jean-Paul Sartre

                1. “Elaine May,but Natalie Wood.”

                  1. Shut the fuck up about Natalie, Warren, or I’ll kick your ass.

                    1. I’d dock my space-canoe in Natalie’s port, man…

    2. Why, I found the play delightful. Thank you. — Mary Todd Lincoln

  5. The news of my death in Pakistan on May 1st, 2011 has been greatly exagerated. I have been declared dead at least eight times before:


  6. From a letter to Mrs. Clemens: “How lovely is death; and how niggardly it is doled out.” That man knew how to charm the ladies.

    1. He had a not-so-great life in many respects–lots of death and sadness.

      1. Did you read volume 1 of his autobiography yet? The bit where he quotes from his dead daughter Susy’s biography of him and adds commentary is really sad. And his book about Joan of Arc is, too, if you know that it’s basically a love letter to Susy.

        1. He also lost his brother, who he had a close relationship with.

      2. All that may be true, but he used the word nigger. Thus, we must ignore him.

        1. Oh Jesus I said Nigger!

          1. Oh Fuck, I said Jesus!

            1. Just don’t say Mohammed.

              1. Jehova!

                1. You’re only making it worse for yourself!

                2. Yahweh
                  I TAKE THAT BACK
                  I meant wow-ee!

        2. dude, look up a few posts, it’s “niggardly.”


    2. “How lovely is death; and how niggardly it is doled out.”


      1. Niggardly is a perfectly cromulent word.

  7. “It is better to remain silent, and have people think you a fool, than to speak up, and prove it.”

  8. “Those Russians are a bunch of pussies.”

    1. Napoleon…yeah right.

    2. I base Barbarosa on that great miltary genus, Napoleon.

      It didn’t work out so well!??! Oh Oh!

  9. “I would gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.”
    – Federal Government Wimpy

    1. I think you had it right the first time.

    2. Isn’t it “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”?

  10. “The difference between the words attributed to a man and the words a man truly spoke is as wide as the difference between the words he spoke and the words he wished he had. Which is why I write shit down.”

    – Mark Twain

  11. “If a quote is brief, cynical, and humorous, it is an easy enough thing to put my name after it.” — Mark Twain

  12. I never killed a man I didn’t like.


  14. “Jews did WTC.”

    ?H.L. Mencken

  15. The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine.” – Abraham Lincoln

  16. “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

    -Socrates Johnson

    1. Missy: Hi, Bill. Want a ride?
      Bill: Sure, Missy.
      [she draws a blank stare at Bill]
      Bill: I mean, mom.
      [she smiles and puts on her Ray-Bans]
      Ted: [whispering to Bill] Your stepmom’s cute.
      Bill: Shut up, Ted.
      Ted: Remember when she was a senior and we were freshmen?
      Bill: Shut up, Ted!

  17. “Don’t get too hung up on the actual language of the thing; we can always go back and change it later.”
    Thos Jefferson

    1. Old ladies are the best: they don’t tell, they don’t swell, and they’re grateful as hell.
      Ben “horse” Franklin

      1. That would be Bob Heinlein, Most Revered God of Science Fiction.

  18. For what it’s worth, the MKL quote is pretty close. McMegan tracked it down to a Facebook user named Jessica Dovey. She posted:

    I will 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.” MLK Jr.

    When people reposted it (especially on Twitter, with the character limit), the quotation marks got stripped out, and the whole thing was missattribuited to MLK.

    1. *sigh* Sorry for the broken URL. Correct link:

    2. Completely apt last name given to Ms. Dovey.

  19. “I trust you to accurately reflect my views in the newsletters. Don’t even show them to me.” –Ron Paul

    1. There’s nothing wrong with the views in those newsletters, but there is something wrong with yours.

  20. “Cockgobbler or gobbling cock, what’s the difference? It always ends up with a mess in my mouth.” – Max

  21. “Say you have an idiot and a congressman, but I repeat myself”
    Mark Twain

  22. “It’s amazing what people will believe on the internet so long as it confirms their preconceived notions.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

  23. That quote being incorrectly ascribed to Twain has been a thing for a long time. The MLK one is brand new, however.

  24. Penn Jillette quoted just the first part of the bogus MLK quote, that is to say the bogus part, on twitter last night, attributing it to MLK. His reaction to being corrected: “If there’s something stupid, I can do it.”

    What annoys me are the people who say that it doesn’t matter whether MLK said it or not. It does matter if only for the sake of posterity, because years from now people will be trying to sort out who MLK was and all the noise of falsely attributed quotes will obscure who he was and what he did and said. If you think it doesn’t matter because you just like the sentiment behind it, why do you bother giving any attribution at all?

    1. I’m attributing your quote just now to Hitler.

      1. “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.” – Pro “Gator” Libertate

        1. This was terrible of me.

          1. “I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature.”

            –high “Replicant” number

            1. Zod forgive me.

  25. duh – Churchill was doing an homage to Shakespeare.

    At a hotel in Jersey where Washington slept.

    1. You mean the guy from Welcome Back Kotter?

  26. “Yes, they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in hell!” — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    1. I saw that video: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unplugged.

  27. “Say ‘what’ again! I dare you! I double-dare you, motherfucker! Say ‘what’ again one more time!” — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  28. “I have had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane!” — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  29. Throughout the years, the people have been modeling and looking to Inspirational Leaders as a source of inspiration for achieving goals for themselves. Inspirational quotes from great leaders have since become daily brain food for people wanting to create better lives for themselves.

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