Social Media and Fake News: Why Fact-Checking is Important for Society
In today’s world, we have access to all sorts of information: we can learn about the general news, sports news, bonus codes like NetBet Bonus Code or news about a new game that’s being released. However, not all information we stumble upon is correct – or truthful in that matter. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that some of the news we stumble upon falls in the category of misinformation. That type of information clogs up a lot of space but tells you literally nothing. There are plenty of news articles which are there just to fill up space, while in fact, they have fewer than five sentences and tell you nothing about what happened.
Those in search of information, especially on social media sites, know not to take any news publication for granted. Fact-checking is important and here is how impactful it can be.
Misinformation is Everywhere
When somebody posts a piece of news, no matter how small it might seem, it can affect the lives of others if it is untrue. Tabloid-like newspapers still exist and they love having clickbait titles to attract views and clicks. However, they serve no purpose other than trying to fill their own accounts with more income.
They hardly deliver any news at all. Some of it may be incorrect. With such newspapers/news sites, people quickly learn not to trust them. With social media, it is a bit more difficult, because there could be a single person sharing information which they might think is true, but is otherwise untrue.
Whether on news sites or social media, there is a large amount of false information.
Why Does it Matter?
Let’s say that you hear the news that a country lifted their pandemic restrictions for travel and that you can visit the country. That seems great, you buy a ticket, get on the plane and upon landing, realize that your country was in the red zone and that they accept passengers from green countries.
This means time, money and effort spent, all due to an article that someone publishes, or a post that someone shared. This is where fact-checking comes into place, your own responsibility to yourself, and the world around you.
No matter which site on the internet you visit, you may find an error here or there. A piece of information is sometimes mistyped and turned into something else, which can be harmless, like the type of wood an electric guitar uses. Though, for some people, that is as important as any other part of the guitar.
But, when the untrue facts become serious like travel restrictions, changes in the law, or anything else that could directly impact your life, there could be consequences.
Fact-checking is a skill that takes practice, but one that comes with ease if one simply starts to cross-check information. If you find ten sites with the same information, and they are reputable sources, then the information is likely to be true.
Wait it Out Then Check it Out
If news is published on social media first, odds are that it might not be published anywhere else. Wait until or rather, if it gets published anywhere else. Then you will be able to see if the information was true or just an easy way to get traffic, though one that is bound to fail after a while.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, from “news” sites to social media posts. Stay aware, stay vigilant and check the information before acting on it.