(TheConservativeNews.org) – Fake news is becoming a tremendous problem in the social media age. President Donald Trump brought attention to the issue while he was running for office, and it’s been in the spotlight ever since. But how are Americans supposed to know what is fake and what is not? And how is the media making the problem worse?
Fake News and Social Media
Social media presents a unique money making opportunity for those who wish to deceive. The pace at which a made-up story can spread is incredible. All it takes is one meme or one article not labeled as satire and it’s off like a wildfire. Some of these articles are specifically meant to target conservatives.
The Washington Post ran an article in 2018 about a Liberal in Maine who owns a network of websites, called America’s Last Line of Defense, publishing lies that are masquerading as conservative news. His Facebook page has thousands of people who share the work and makes it go viral. From there, fake news websites overseas (not owned by the man) take the news and publish it as fact. And that is how easy it is to spread nonsense.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
So, how can you protect yourself from falling victim to one of these schemes? We have a few tips to help you out, especially in an election year when everything you see online will probably have some kind of bias.
- Always know your source, make sure you only share news from reputable pages that you are comfortable with.
- Check the website’s “About” page for information about whether or not the site publishes satire.
- If something seems particularly outlandish or unbelievable, do a quick online search to verify.
How the Media Makes it Worse
President Trump often rails against the fake news media and with good reason. Sometimes, mainstream sites will take a snippet of what he said and blow it up. Then their social media followers start clicking share and before you know it, the world believes the commander-in-chief said something he didn’t.
A good example of how the media can start the fake news is when they shared the Steele Dossier allegations without ever verifying them. Later when the stories were debunked, there weren’t any big retractions. And that dossier drama led to actual prosecutions.
Follow the tips above and be alert, that’s the best way you can help to put an end to the problem.
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