Finding REAL news – who to believe?

Social media has increased our access to a wide variety of media and news options available at our fingertips. The access to free news so readily is certainly a great feature of social media, but one drawback is finding REAL and credible information and news.

Dairy farming and agriculture is something that I am passionate about, we involve our kids in life on the farm and hope that someday they will also have the passion for the industry we love. When I see information that portrays our industry in a negative light I strive to share positive messages and help to get the real story out there – so that consumers know the true facts.

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Milking time on the farm – teaching the next generation of farmers how it’s done

 

In this course, we are seeing how accessible it is for people that want to share their ideas and give their thoughts a voice to create a blog and have a platform to share their ideas. In my last blog, I highlighted the importance of being an Agvocate and sharing good news about Agriculture and where our food comes from. I touched on the importance of making sure that REAL news is out there for consumers.

I’m sure you have all, at some point, seen bad press about Agriculture, as a social media user myself I have seen content shared in my newsfeed that casts a poor light on Agriculture and farmers. Perhaps that has made you form a poor opinion of our industry – but like everything, there is definitely another side to the story and it is important that “myth-busters” are out there to help people make informed choices. That brings me to the topic of FAKE news and how important it is to check your source of your information and question what you read – don’t take everything at face value!

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No pus in this milk – or any milk for that matter – feeding time on the farm along with a little helper

 

This particular blog post, from Dairy Carrie addresses one of the fake news stories that sometimes circulates around Facebook and social media titled, “Is there Pus in Milk?” I have seen a couple variations of images sourcing the same false information, as I see it shared by my friends on social media – I encourage them to dig deeper and look for more information – and not to believe everything they read online. Dairy Carrie is a great example of a blogger who myth-busts false information that she sees on social media, rather than losing her cool and fighting with someone over sharing misguided information she talks about the science behind what milk is made up of and shares REAL information. Thanks to social media this real information can also be shared readily to consumers – you just have to hope that consumers are also looking for the other side of the story.

Another controversial topic that often comes up around agriculture and food is the topic of Genetically Modified (GM) foods. I have seen friends on social media share “news” about conventional agriculture and GMOs. It is great when bloggers like Sarah at Nurse Loves Farmer writes blogs backed up by research and science to bust the myths about GMOs. In her post she link articles and studies that show the science behind GMOs and encourages her readers to dig deeper and not take things at face value.

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Spring 2017 – tractor and planter busy planting our 2017 corn crop

 

In this ‘social media age’ we live in it is getting easier and easier to have access to news, information and opinions – it is important that we pay attention to where we get our FACTS from and do a bit of homework to put the pieces together to see the bigger picture. We need to ask questions and find out more rather than taking someone else’s opinion as gospel.

As a social media user do you find you are bombarded with fake news? Do you question the news you see come across your newsfeed and look for the other side of the story? What other areas or industries do you see as having to combat the “FAKE” news?

 

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Are you getting the whole story? How do you find REAL news and filter out the fake news? #mythbusting http://bit.ly/2seuukq

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Look deeper at the news you read and ask yourself is this REAL news? What is the rest of the story? To read more about mythbusting news about your food check out my latest blog post http://bit.ly/2seuukq

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10 thoughts on “Finding REAL news – who to believe?

  1. Great post!

    You are absolutely right. Nowadays, it’s really hard to differentiate pranks and fake news from the real ones; there are so many posts out there which are not real and very confusing.

    I recently read an article (Alexandra has posted it on BB) considering new regulations on Social Media. According to it, European Union ministers approved the proposals of placing rules to detect and delete the posts which contain hateful behaviors or promote terrorism on the SM platforms such as, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Although some claim such legislations may interfere with the freedom of speech and this proposal still needs to get the parliament approval, I hope they take such rules seriously and incorporate them into the law all over the globe. Blocking the posts/videos that spread inhumane acts or talks as well as adding security features to give the viewers the ability to recognize the fake ones would be a huge leap forward in protecting the SM users.

    Cheers,
    Leila

    • Hi Leila

      Thanks for reading – and thanks for the comments.

      I also read the article you referenced. I do think that setting some regulations on social media to block inappropriate behaviours like you mentioned would be a great leap forward for social media users. I know there is a “report this” button on Facebook but taking this one step further would certainly be beneficial in many ways.

      I also think part of the issue with the fake news and how quickly it spreads is that many people skim content on social media and don’t check the source or read the entire article and then share it anyways without thinking about what it is they are sharing, they assume because they trust their friend who shared it that it must be accurate – it’s a quickly moving cycle once the sharing of the fake news gets started because social media moves at such a fast pace.

  2. Great post! I like how you encourage critical thinking and referenced other bloggers that do the same. When I think about fake news I don’t think about farming so it was nice to see a new take on it. I also liked the pictures you used. There are still wholesome family farms that exist and need our support!

    • Hello –
      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad that my article interested you. I am really enjoying reading the blogs that shed light on industries and interests that I am not as familiar with, it is expanding my knowledge of how social media is applicable in areas that I haven’t thought too much about. It has been really interesting reading everyone’s different points of view.
      Thanks also for your comments about the pictures – my kids LOVE being involved in our farm and while it isn’t my full-time day-job it is certainly where my passion lies and I enjoy sharing a glimpse of it to everyone reading!

  3. Ah, fake news, my favourite Facebook feed filler – the mother of all pointless arguments. These “stories” are very annoying considering the impact they have on public opinion. The most frustrating thing is that there is so much stuff out there that doesn’t get attention because of fake news.
    I have a lot of respect for farmers especially since my entire family is from the Acores. My father was a farmer and he loved it, and I had the chance to go there when I was 11-years-old to see what my dad used to do when he was my age. Working with my father on that farm made me wonder why he left the Acores. I know my father’s ultimate dream would be to have a small farm where he could take care of a couple of cows.
    Great article, and I really hope that your message makes it through all the fake news!

    Alex

    • Hi Alex –
      Thanks for your feedback. I agree “fake” news can really clutter the newsfeed when you are looking for real news stories, it can be very frustrating!
      I enjoyed hearing about your family and farm background, Farming is certainly a way of life, one that I feel blessed to be able to enjoy, I don’t blame your father for wanting to get back to farming someday if he has the opportunity, even on a smaller scale.
      Take care!
      Katie

  4. Excellent post. For me the best way to ensure I am getting real news is to read stories only written by credible journalist who are employed at reputable news agencies. But then they too can find themselves providing fake news due to a lack of fact checking. Many news agencies today have a fact checking department where all stories go before being published or broadcast to ensure they are not spreading fake news. This practice would benefit social media users.

    • Hello –
      Thanks so much for your feedback.
      I agree that reading articles from credible journalists and reputable news agencies is a better way to try and get REAL news. I do think that all reporters should have to fact check, so that they are providing the whole story, but I guess news has often showed one side as opposed to both sides of the stories, this isn’t completely all new since social media began.

  5. Hi!
    Thank you for being a farm lover. i can identify myself since my parents are also farmers. Keep up your voice in promoting farming industry to the young generation!
    great article!

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