Just because a stat or “fact” is widely presented, and fits well in your story, doesn’t make it true. With all the Kony 2012 and Mike Daisey talk I keep seeing this argument for popular misinformation. You know the one that says bad data and lies are okay as long as the ends justify the means. To this I say poppycock! Lies and bad data remain lies and bad data. If you have a good point you should be able to make it with true stories and good data.
Philip Cohen has been fighting an example of this on his blog for over a year now. People, stop using stats you can’t trace to their roots!