Before you read this, please know I write with the best intentions. I am a lover of political science, public policy, and THE TRUTH.
In the past couple of years, we have all seen an insane about of outrageously opinionated Facebook posts and shared articles. Everything from illegal immigrant statistics, to abortion, to Rick Scott's "tragic death" (that obviously never happened). Fake news is a 100% totally real thing and it affects people of all beliefs and parties.
Recently, I saw a Facebook post made by a friend from high school in response to New York's new abortion law where she mentioned how allowing late-term abortions for all cases, even rape, is ridiculous and that she strongly opposed it. Okay, now what's wrong with this? She didn't do her research and she didn't know what she was talking about, neither did the majority of the people who commented absolute ludicrous things agreeing (and disagreeing) with her.
Here's the thing. I don't care if you are pro-choice or pro-life, as long as you have legitimate evidence and FACTS to back up your opinions, I think that's great. America allows for the diversity of opinions and I love it. Just don't go screaming your uneducated opinions from the rooftops, because nobody wants to hear it. Follow these easy steps to make sure your opinion is fact-checked and therefore actually matters.
You absolutely have to fact-check your "facts" that support your opinion through a credible source.
No Wikipedia, no insanely biased news organization, not a story from your mom's cousin's best friend's wife, not Facebook. Use sources like university sponsored databases, factcheck.org, look up studies, read a textbook, read the bill!
Now, let's take my friend's Facebook post and comment to apply this step.
If my friend had of simply typed "New York abortion law facts" into google and picked out a decent site, she would have then seen that abortion after 24 weeks is only okay if approved by a physician because the mother's life is in danger or the fetus is not viable. Now, while I respect her opinion of being pro-life I don't respect her making a Facebook post railing people who are pro-choice with "facts" that aren't facts.
The next thing I saw was a woman who had posted a link to a video claiming that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal parts. If the woman who commented this had conducted one simple google sites, she could have found multiple, and I mean multiple, sources that proved the video was entirely false.
Think. Is this post worth it? Do people really need to know what I'm about to say?
Honestly, this thought process works with any post you're going to make. I get that social media is totally up to you and that it's for freedom of expression. I respect that. However, think before you post something super opinionated!
Again, I am a LOVER of freedom of speech. I LOVE how everyone can have totally unique opinions and express themselves in so many different ways. However, I don't like people spreading fake news. So please, fact-check people!