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Fake News: Fake News and Social Media

Identify and avoid fake news!

Fake Twitter Posts

 decoration image of social media

Are you wondering how to spot a fake Twitter post?

Check the account history of the source. Two red flags are the number of posts and how long the account has been active. If it claims to be a well known source (like CNN or CBS) but the account only has a few posts in its history, that is a clue that you are dealing with a fake post. And If it's a well known source and the account has only been active a short time, that is another red flag.

Images of an event are often reused to deceive people. You can check if an image has been used before on a "reverse image search" service like TinEye. Be wary of screenshots of online news stories without direct links, as the images are very easily manipulated using photo editing software in order to convey completely different messages from the original. 

How Often Do You See Fake News?

Nearly half of readers report that they see fake news stories on their social media at least once a day. That's a lot of exposure to fake news!

To the best of your knowledge, how often do you see fake news while using the internet or visiting sites such as Facebook or Twitter? | Statista
Statista, December 2019

Opposing Viewpoints: Fake News on Social Media

Fake News on Facebook

Facebook log in screen image

Fake news stories abound on Facebook. Most of the postings are produced by scammers looking to make money on the number of clicks these stories receive. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, says they are working on a way to weed out these stories. In the meantime, some creative people have come up with solutions of their own.  

The Washington Post ran a story on November 11, 2016 about a group of college students who developed an algorithm that authenticates what is real and what is fake on Facebook. Check out the story about these problem solvers

A programmer named Daniel Sieradski has also developed a Chrome extension called the B.S. Detector. This hoax detector can help reduce the amount of fake new stories that show up in your Facebook feed.