Fake news, and what YOU can do to stop it

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In today’s society it is all about fast paced news, click bait, and page views, and social media makes the perfect platform. However, that does not mean that all of the information being sent out is in fact real or true. With that being said I think it is safe to say that we have all witnessed a friend or family member get tricked by false information on social media.

When you see someone you know post or retweet fake news, how do you address them? This can be a difficult thing to do as we want to upset the poster or come off as being a superior media user. For me, I would go for a simple route, one that is straight to the point but also not demeaning or hurtful. Let’s say I see my aunt share an article from The Onion and she totally believes it, my best course of action would be to tell her directly in the comments that The Onion is known as a satirical news site and would share a link. This approach is simple but can be effective to not promote any shaming in the comments.

When going to comment under a post telling the OP that the content they are sharing is false, I believe going the extra step to finding a more reliable source over the same content is helpful. That way if the OP is upset or saying you do not have proof that what they are sharing is false, you can counter back with sharing the reliable information you found. This may cause some heated comments, and if those do arise then it is time to get truthful. Sometimes all it takes is being blunt and stating that sharing false information can be hurtful or careless.

Now I personally do not share much on my social media platforms, but to help combat the spread of false information I plan on posting an info-graphic that can help my friends and family decipher the sources they come across. This graphic here from the website can be a useful tool that I hope my own followers take into account when scrolling their news feeds. Along with this graphic, some other creators have come up with mnemonic devices regarding finding reliable sources such as the TRAAP test.



Overall, we cannot be afraid to tell the truth to our family and friends. While they may take it too personally in the end we are just doing our part to help keep our news feeds truthful. There are many techniques you can use to help inform your feed to “share with care”, it is just up to you to choose which one works best for the given situation.