With so much information and marketing being blasted at us on social media, how can we tell what is fake and what is real. We must be vigilant and have a critical thinking approach to gaining real information from the multitude of social media platforms.
The New York Times https://nyti.ms/3NEOQgr defined “fake news” on the Internet as false articles deliberately fabricated to deceive readers, generally with the goal of profiting through clickbait. Clickbait is content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.
Above are faked viral images that people believed to be real from list of photos compiled on a website called “boredpanda” https://bit.ly/3NMpvRP.
Another website called Politifact https://www.politifact.com/ by the Poynter Institute provides fact checking journalism on political social media statements. Their core principles are independence, transparency, fairness, thorough reporting, and clear writing. The reason we publish is to give citizens the information they need to govern themselves in a democracy.
There is so much on the internet around misinformation or disinformation on social media that I could not possibly cover it on one blog. However, below are 8 simple steps to keep in mind when trying to decipher fake information (taken from Simon Fraser University website https://bit.ly/3lWE09A):
Consider the source
Click away from the story to learn more about the website, including its stated mission and contact information. For a picture, try a reverse image search to find out where it was originally used, and whether it has been altered.
Beware of outrageous headlines, statements in ALL CAPS, and sensational images designed to get clicks. Read the full story and then investigate further.
Check the author
Do a quick search on the author to find out if they are credible (or even a real person). What is the person’s background? What qualifications do they have, and how are they related to the topic they are writing about?
Check to make sure the links support the story — and are credible.
Check the date
Is this an old story?
Is it a joke?
If the image looks unbelievable or the news sounds too outrageous, it may be satire. Research the site and the author to check.
Check your biases
Consider whether your own beliefs might affect your judgement.
Ask the experts
Ask a librarian, or visit a fact-checking site.
Internet is an awesome tool for learning, communication, and marketing. However, stay vigilant and alert so that you are not fooled or make improper decisions. There are all kinds of people, groups, agencies, and businesses with agendas. The important thing is to be properly informed.
- Next time you read something on social media, will you read the information with a grain of salt?
- Try some of the steps above with Twitter comments or Facebook websites that seem strange or bizarre
Simon Fraser University – Library: https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/research-assistance/fake-news
Author Community Member: Rugile –May 2019,Bored Panda.
The Poynter Institute: Politifact – https://www.politifact.com/
You Tube: 3 Expert Tips to Stop Bullshit (2021 March 30 – https://youtu.be/jg8wKK87eJA
The New York Times: https://nyti.ms/3NEOQgr