Saying it’s election season is practically the same as saying it’s misinformation season. Candidates WANT you to believe the best of them and the worst of their rival…and, shocking, we know, are not always scrupulous about adhering to the strict truth to market their message. But you, YOU can do better!
Here’s another shocker: internet memes are not good news sources! They might include elements of truth, they might be funny as heck, but, before you SHARE, please stop and consider that what you’re sharing IS informing someone’s thinking, might be complete bullcarp or even be the product of a foreign troll factory. Dig a little deeper before you share memes or news stories. Stand up for Truth, Justice and what we at least used to think of as being The American Way.
Here’s a link to 11 non-partisan fact-checking sites. Run whatever you’re wondering about … or thinking of sharing…through one of those. It’s also important to remember that photos can be doctored…and that photos of other times and places can “stand in” for contemporary events. The referenced article includes a reverse image search site that can help you determine if the pic that’s persuading you is for real…or a fraud.
Perhaps the best advice this writer has heard for dealing with internet news/memes is: if something provokes a strong emotional response in you, then you should DEFINITELY check its veracity before sharing.
Here’s a handy chart, from the above-referenced article, that can and will help you think through whether what you’re looking at is…real…or fake news. It’s important, yeah?
And, here’s more! This 4-part information on disinformation series was assembled by our friend Teresa Schmidt at the Mercer Library. Teresa is a formidable researcher and knows how to vet and organize information…she is a true information specialist. DO check it out! Mercer Library Information Literacy