Information or Disinformation in Social Media

As mainstream media continues to lose the public’s trust, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the public to figure out what is real information and what is fake. The problem is two-fold; media corruption and biases as well as general misinformation that is readily available on social media.

I find this particularly prevalent in the health field. Social media has significantly changed how the public can learn about health conditions, medications, treatments and health devices. As much as there are benefits to being able to do this kind of research and promote these types of products, there are also huge risks to being misinformed and “internet educated”. The FDA issued Draft Guidances for Industry on Social Media and Internet Communications About Medical Products: Designed with Patients in Mind as a measure of protection. You can read about it further here: FDA US Food and Drug Administration

Another main area we see this is in politics. During the last Federal election it was astonishing to see all of the blog posts and memes posted and shared on social media that were incorrect and harmful to the campaigns of the candidates.

In a Globe and Mail article entitled: What is ‘fake news,’ and how can you spot it? Try our quiz, they state that, “In a Pew Research Centre Study last month, Americans acknowledged that fake news stories caused “a great deal of confusion” in the election. Most were confident in their ability to spot fake stories, but about one in four acknowledged that they had also shared stories that they knew at the time or discovered later were fake.”

This week, Google announced that they are rolling out a fact-check feature in their search and news results. Now when you search something that has received a review, Google will identify who made the claim and if a third-party organization has found it to be true or false. Google won’t be doing its own fact-checking however, instead they will be relying on other websites like Snopes or Politifacts to verify the statements made by news organizations.

How do you feel about this? Is this something that you feel will be helpful to the general public?

Join the conversation and comment below.

Twitter post:
Fact or Fiction in Social Media #internetdisinformation http://bit.ly/2p3tMsn

Facebook post:
Social Media is a growing source for news. Do you feel that the Google Fact Checker will help you decipher real from fake news on the internet? Read more here: http://bit.ly/2p3tMsn

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Information or Disinformation in Social Media

  1. This was a well-written and incredibly timely post. In the “This is why we can’t have nice things” category, fake news and falsehoods spread about on the internet are a shame because it’s the only way to get a message across to a wide reach and variety of audiences. It’s unfortunate that there is now a “reader beware” environment.

  2. Fake news sadly isn’t a new thing, it just seems as though now we have massive amounts of it at our finger tips. Now more than ever it is important to do proper research and not believe everything that you read!

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