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: 1200 x 792 jpeg. Fake News: What Laws Are Designed to Protect. [Image online]. Retrieved from

Russell, Andrew. (June 12, 2019). Facebook won’t remove doctored videos. Here are tools to help you verify content. [Online]. Retrieved from

Thompson, Elizabeth. CBC News. (June 11, 2019). Poll finds 90% of Canadians have fallen for fake news. [Online]. Retrieved from (June 21, 2018). Explained: What is Fake News? [Online]. Retrieved from

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

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 #fakenews

Social Media: Do You Create or Curate?

To create something means bringing an idea, a concept or a visualization to life.  It also means that it never existed before.  In social media, the creation process involves taking your own photos, drawing your own images, writing your own text without any other references other than your thoughts, making your own videos and putting together your own designs.

To curate means something different.  Curating involves researching, finding, gathering, organizing and sharing the content of another person or entity to present it to the public.  The question becomes if it is possible to “borrow” or to “copy in parts” the work of another party without consent.  That may be cause for copyright infringement. 

What exactly is copyright?

“Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually the copyright owner. However, an employer—for example, a film studio—may have copyright in works created by employees unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise.” (Government of Canada, 2016)

To know more about copyright, watch the following video:

What does infringement mean?

“The action of breaking the terms of a law, agreement, etc.; violation.  The action of limiting or undermining something.” (Lexico, 2019)

It is easier now to understand that “using” someone else’s content online is not acceptable and is illegal.  Anything that is found on the Internet is not necessarily available to be shared or used freely without obtaining consent from the owner of the content.  The credit must be given to the owner of the content, which is, in general, the creator of the content itself.  So, when you are curating, it is important to indicate to whom the content belongs to, where it comes from and where it was found.

The content that is being found online is as valuable as the written content of a book, the lyrics of a song, the logo of a company or a simple photograph.  It is important to respect and research all content that is being use in any content that is dedicated to social media in order to know if it is licensed and to whom it belongs to.  Once done, a permission can be requested to copy or share, in whole or in parts, the content in question.

There is a lot more to say about copyright infringement and its importance, but the goal of this blog is to raise awareness among social media users and the proper ethic regarding “borrowing” someone else’s content.  So, the next time you will need content for social media, will you create or curate?

References: 1200 x 926 png. [Image online]. Retrieved at

Hope. (January 9, 2019). Creating vs. curating content: how to avoid copyright infringement on social media [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Lexico. (2019). [Online dictionary]. Retrieved from

Government of Canada. (September 7, 2016, p. 1). What is copyright? [Website]. Retrieved from 

Government of Canada. (September 7, 2016). What is a copyright? (Canada) [Video]. Retrieved from

You are not sure if you are creating or curating your content on social media? Are you confused about copyright and infringement?  To know more, read my blog at

Are you wondering if your content on social media is subject to infringement? Read my blog at #copyright #infringement

What Will Social Media Hold for Us in the Future?

Where will social media be in 10, 20 or even 30 years from now?  Will its growth still be rapid and constant or will it become more stable and expand at a slower rate?  Well, every year millions of people are joining social media including those in Africa where the rate of users is increasing about 20% yearly.  Even though only one person out of two is using social media, it is obvious that social media’s growth is far from slowing down.

What might be surprising to know is that a platform based on images such as Instagram is gaining more and more popularity and might become the next big thing.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!  It is a platform that is easy to use and quick.  These two traits, when non existent, are usually the reasons why people are not inclined to use social media.

Here are five areas that will grow considerably by 2020:

  • Product searches using social media
  • Visual searches using images, pictures or speech
  • Verbal searches using voice control
  • Access using mobile messaging applications (apps)
  • Discover products using chatbots

To know about the five trends that were predicted in the 2018 Social Trends survey from Hootsuite, check out the report that is available by clicking on the following link Social Media Trends 2019 from Hootsuite.  What is also very interesting is the fact that even with the arrival of a platform like Messenger, which allows people to type less when messaging, the use of pictures, images and videos is becoming a favorite way to use social media rather than typing words and keywords.  Who has never watched a “How to” or a promotional video before purchasing an item online or in store?  Social ecommerce will become one of the easiest and fastest way to shop.

Of course, it is impossible to talk about the future of social media without mentioning the importance of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the marketing sectors.  Generation Z is responsible for the perpetual increase in the use of these technologies and will continue to do so even more in the future.

Another front will know a considerable increase, this one in the work environment.  More and more executives of organizations will be informed and will know how to use social media.  The leaders will have to adapt their communication style to adopt one that is more social media friendly.

In conclusion, social media will remain an important part of our lives whether we like it or not, and we will all have to adapt to new trends and new technologies that will shape the social media of the future.  And if all this is not satisfying your curiosity about the future of social media then Google it!  Will you? 

Not surprising, the use of social media is starting at a very young age nowadays!


Anderson, Mark. (Online Image). 480 x 360 png. Retrieved from

Mulvey, James. (April 10, 2018). Social Media in 2020: 11 Data-Backed Predictions. Retrieved from

Would you like to know more about the predictions for the trends to come in social media and what the future holds for us? Visit my Facebook page and read my blog at

Want to know more about what social media will look like in the future? Read my blog at #socialmedia #futureofsocialmedia

Will Climate Change Leave You with a Bitter Taste?

Calling all wine lovers!  Have you been thinking about climate change the last time you opened a bottle of wine?  Probably not.  Let us have a look at some facts about how climate change is affecting the environment and the consequences it has on wine production – called viniculture.

The quality and the quantity of the grapes depend largely on the climate.  The data that have been collected over the past 100 years show an increase of global temperatures of about 0.740C per hundred years.  Like everything else, this brings positive and negative effects to certain regions of the world.

Warmer temperatures affect the growth of the grapes, changing the colour, aroma and the balance between the sugar and the acid content.  If you are a wine connoisseur, you know these traits will alter the product – which could be that vintage Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru 1990 (Cote de Nuits, France) that is still aging in your cellar! 

Other factors like rainfall, increases in carbon dioxide levels and UV radiation are variables that play an important role in the growth of the grapes.  Temperature variances are also critically important to the development of the grapes. The temperature is so important that chambers are used to maintain it and to keep a difference of 100C colder or warmer depending on the temperature to ensure the quality of the grapes.

After reading all of this, you are probably wondering what you can do about climate change? It is simple: be informed, be greener at home and at the office, reuse, recycle and make environmentally friendly purchases.  Chances are, my generation will not taste the difference climate change will have on the wines I savor now and for the years to come, but will the next generations have the same opportunity?

So next time I open my favorite bottle of wine, I will keep that in mind and raise my glass to saving the environment and helping to reduce climate change.  Will you?

References: Wikipedia, Effects of climate change on wine production:

Source: Picture taken during my last visit of some of the wineries in Niagara, Ontario.
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