Social media has changed the way we receive our news, and because the word is spread so quickly it is important to be able to recognize what is real news and what’s fake. According to Forbes and the Chicago Tribune, fake news travels fastest on Facebook. This is a problem because in 2020 there are 2.8 billion Facebook users a month.
When we think of fake news, we tend to go back to the elections. These stories misinformed voters with false information. In the article from NPR, it was noted that right before the election, fake news spiked in interaction from users. It was also mentioned that these stories got more engagement than some of the biggest media outlets.
Learning how to spot fake news is important for everyone. In order to do so, an article from factcheck.org tells us to read beyond the headline, check your sources, check the author, as well as looking for grammatical and spelling issues.
Facebook itself is trying to get rid of fake news by building new products, including ranking improvements, easier reporting and working with partners. Easier reporting is important for flagging down misinformation, but can also be dangerous. Making posts easier to report can possibly censor some people.
Stay away from fake news, and check your sources.