Detecting Disinformation on the Internet
While there are some positives to this trend
– it’s easier to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away, for example – there are also negatives that should not be ignored.
One of the biggest problems with social media is that it can be used to spread false information very quickly.
Traditional news sources lean heavily on social media, there is at least some level of fact-checking that takes place before stories are published but they are usually biased and searching for information that suits their corporate message and sponsors.
Here's an example:
On social media, anyone can post anything they want in real time
This helps real local journalists break through the censorship to get the actual story out before corporate outlets have time to approve and curate their corporate narrative.
This is a good thing.
But it is possible that some untrue stories make it out, and that's ok.
It's important for readers and viewers to always question what they read and watch, then search on their own for the truth.
This problem is only compounded by the fact that many people get their news exclusively from corporate sources instead of more real time, unbiased sources.
Another issue with social media is that it can create echo chambers where users only see content that agrees with their own beliefs.
The most dangerous part of fast and free media is the lack of questioning.
When people only believe what they see on their personalized feed, they are more susceptible to manipulation.
Overall social media is a good thing. The Free flow of ideas is always better for the thinking person.
Inoculate yourself from censorship and disinformation by speaking often with people in your local community.
The best way to counter bad ideas is better ideas. Trust but verify.
We are all in this together!
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