How to avoid Fake News on Social Media
Most of People are getting News from YouTube And TikTok but still don’t trust them. According to an Ofcom report (a UK communications regulator), these three social media platforms are the top three sources among teens surveyed. For slightly older people in the 16-24 age group, social media and the internet were also their preferred way of watching news, with the internet for the 25-34 year olds generally only having more traditional options (such as TV, newspapers and radio) and surpassed 35-44 groups.
Despite their growing popularity, social media news still enjoys the lowest level of trust, which is consistent with their 2020 ranking as only about a third of people who use social media. In comparison, around 75% of BBC local radio listeners trust what they hear on this news. While fake news has been adopted as a term by some bad actors when referring to reports they personally dislike, it’s still a legitimate concern. Social media and the accessibility of the internet have made it easier to spread misinformation, but whether it’s from new or more traditional platforms, how do you avoid fake news?
To assess whether the news is fake or not, look at the source of the reported information. A major benefit of online news is that it’s generally easy to link to where the information originally came from. TV and radio often also indicate where they get their data from, but it’s obviously a little less convenient than simply clicking on a hyperlink. Rather than just taking our word for it when we say Ofcom said what we wrote about, you can follow a link to the report embedded above to verify the information for yourself. But while not citing sources in any type of news report can be an instant red flag, you also need to be careful about who or what is quoted. While Ofcom has a solid track record of producing reliable reports and correcting its errors, it doesn’t fare so well everywhere.
If the original information came from somewhere known to be in the past, or from a source with a very short track record, then it may not be the most reliable. It also pays to understand the context of the information. If it is a study, how was it funded and could outside influences have influenced the data? For example, if a beverage brand says a study they paid for found their new product to be the best-tasting and healthiest beverage ever made, perhaps you should take the results with a pinch of salt.