Social Media, Politicians and Fake News: Who Do You Believe?

I am pretty sure that everyone knows what fake news is, but in order to make sure that everyone does, let me describe what it is as well as what their goals are.

Fake news is, basically, plain ordinary news and stories that have been made up in order to make the reader believe they are true when they are, in fact, just pure fiction.  The goal of fake news is to influence the reader and his position concerning a specific subject.  It is, in general, a subject related to politics and is mostly geared toward power or monetary gains.

Of course, because of the speed and the reach that social media has nowadays, some fake news may travel around the world at a fulgurant speed.  This may bring some positive insights in certain situations but, unfortunately, because of its nature, it has a negative impact, and, in some cases, it may even be destructive.

Fake news is not always easily detected. In some cases, detective work may be required.

There are many different types of fake news; clickbait, propaganda, satire/parody, sloppy journalism, misleading headings and biased/slanted news.  With the increasing number of fake news, it is very difficult for the reader to determine if what he is reading on social media is true or not.  There are, however, ways to recognize fake news.

The first step is to trace the history of the digital postings that have been done on social media.  By doing so, it will be easy to confirm the location and the date of a specific posting.  Treat screenshots, images, pictures and videos with the utmost attention.  Even some websites are created to accommodate fake news!  This is a time when it is imperative to look at other sources to compare headlines and content in order to make an educated opinion.

The fake news phenomenon is so popular and getting so much attention that some websites have been created to check reported facts and verify their authenticity.  Here are a few fact checking websites for different countries:

After performing a Google search on Canadian Fact Checking Websites, the following websites appeared in the search results:

The URLs of certain websites should be verified before visiting them to read their content.  Websites ending with .com or .co could potentially be accommodating fake news.  If the visited site provides articles written by the same author, this also can be an indication of the presence of fake news in the content.  This is the perfect time to Google everything!  It is estimated that 90% of Canadians have fallen for fake news.

So. next time you read some news or stories on social media, will you instantly believe it? Will you immediately take a stand and have an opinion on the subject? Or will you check the facts and ensure that what you are reading is not fake news?

References:

Legalzoom.com. 1200 x 792 jpeg. Fake News: What Laws Are Designed to Protect. [Image online]. Retrieved from https://binged.it/2XGW61N

Russell, Andrew. (June 12, 2019). Facebook won’t remove doctored videos. Here are tools to help you verify content. [Online]. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/5381118/how-to-spot-fake-news-misinformation-disinformation-online/

Thompson, Elizabeth. CBC News. (June 11, 2019). Poll finds 90% of Canadians have fallen for fake news. [Online]. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fake-news-facebook-twitter-poll-1.5169916

Websise.ie. (June 21, 2018). Explained: What is Fake News? [Online]. Retrieved from https://www.webwise.ie/teachers/what-is-fake-news/

Do you believe everything you read about on social media?  Can you differentiate a real story from a fake news?  If you want to learn more about fake news and how to recognize it, read my blog at https://bit.ly/2KlOuih

Are you wondering if what you are reading is fake news?  How can you tell, without a doubt, if what you are reading is not fake news?  To know more about the fake news phenomenon, read my blog at https://bit.ly/2KlOuih #fakenews

4 thoughts on “Social Media, Politicians and Fake News: Who Do You Believe?

  1. This is a fantastic subject, and very well written blog. My favourite to date I think. Such important information. Thanks for all the links!

  2. Hi AJ,
    Thank you for your comments! I thought the links were useful and, if kept under your browser’s Favorites category, they might one day become very handy.

  3. I love this blog, Carole! It is very difficult to know who to trust these days. Facebook refused to take down a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi, which I found ridiculous given that many people use Facebook as a media outlet. It is very important to fact check your sources nowadays. Thanks for the links!

  4. Thank you for reading Dean! I totally agree that Facebook should take down doctored videos. It is unfortunate that we do not know exactly why Facebook is not interested in doing it. I am glad you liked the links!

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