I think in today’s society we so easily mistake news and information we hear on the internet as always coming from reliable sources. Even though it may not come from a reliable source, we still share these posts on Facebook. Often these posts end up being shared by thousands of people even when they aren’t informative, but rather strictly opinion based. Even I am guilty at times of sharing things on Facebook without fully knowing if they are true or not. I am writing this article to inform everyone of how to minimize the amount of false publications being shared on social media.
I was recently watching a program on the news that explained how to take down these Facebook posts when you notice them. It’s fairly easy, you just click the down arrow at the top right of the post, and then look down to find report post. In order to report a post, you first need to know how you can recognize them. I also wanted to know just how many of these fake articles get shared daily on Facebook specifically.
According to the article titled “More Facebook users engaged with top fake election news than most popular real reporting...”on the cnbc website. The article stated as followed:
“In the last three months of the presidential campaigns, top-performing false headlines from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated more than 8.7 million shares, reactions and comments, BuzzFeed News estimated. That's compared to nearly 7.4 million shares, reactions and Facebook comments on the 20 best-performing news stories from mainstream websites, according to BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman….One fake news site, Ending the Fed, got more engagement on its top viral news than the best-performing content from the Washington Post and The New York Times, BuzzFeed News found.”
You can read the rest of this article here.
To me, false headlines generating 8.7 million share, reactions and comments is just plain ridiculous. And I for one will not contribute to the spread of hoax sites anymore! It’s time to spot the spread, and all it takes is a little bit of thinking before you share that news article on your Facebook page.
Here are some signs based off of this article I got from the Washington post website:
- Determine whether the article is from a legitimate website
- Check the ‘Contact us’ page
- Examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense
- Read the article closely
- Scrutinize the sources
- Look at the ads
- Use search engines to double-check
Watch the pig save this goat on this NY times article, and then tell me if you think it’s still safe to share anything you see on social media including political articles you find.
Remember to take everything you see "cum grano salis" (or with a grain of salt as they say in latin) before you believe it. Always think before you share information on social media.