Don’t believe everything you read on social media

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

While enjoying my lunch, I typically peruse social media out of boredom.
Most of the time while scrolling my newsfeed my attention span wanes and I switch to something else. At other times, I see a post that makes me question its validity.
Recently it was a post about how President Barack Obama has cancelled the National Day of Prayer.
Without checking the facts, the poster shared the false piece of news, continuing the proliferation of misinformation. Short answer, he didn’t cancel it this year, nor in years past.
These posts remind me of the heyday of email. Back so long ago, when email was the major method of spreading false news, the same things would land in my inbox.
I used to mess with a family member about his sharing of these stories. He began his trek into email about ten years ago. At that point I received many humorous messages from him. But every now and then he would send a news story that was really just propaganda meant to turn the public’s opinion to one side or the other, just like the Obama story I mentioned earlier.
As a goof, and as a way to let him know the information he shared was fake, I would conduct a simple search of the Internet to see if there was validity to the report.
Most of the time Snopes or some other fact-checking site would show that the “facts” were skewed. Naturally I would respond to his message with a link to the truth, of which I’m sure he just ignored.
The gist is, while social media is a way to share information, and keep up with the goings on in the lives of friends and family, it’s also full of information that may or may not be true.
Before you hit that “share” button, do a quick search. You may find more than you expected.

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