How many times have you scrolled through social media and just shook your head at what someone shared? People who you thought were intelligent are showing their true colors by sharing some really stupid things.
I don’t want to call anyone out by name, but I have even seen our local elected officials be misled by something they saw on what they thought was a legitimate news site.
That’s why I was happy to see the Brick library host a program on how to determine real news from fake. Kudos to them.
“Fake news” is not someone else’s problem. Everyone thinks that their news sites are legit and the opposition is not. Everyone questions information they don’t agree with but will agree whole-heartedly with whatever information confirms their beliefs. There’s even a term for this: confirmation bias.
I know that I’m inviting criticism by publishing this in a newspaper, but you should know that we always strive for fairness and accuracy. Most of the reporters I’ve worked with at other local papers do so as well. Mistakes do happen, but there is a difference between an honest mistake and intentionally misleading people.
If you find something that you want the world to know about, pause a second before you hit that “Share” button. Is the information too good to be true? Or too one-sided? Or, did you not even read the whole thing before sharing? Please, take a second to really process what the article is trying to make you feel.
Because someone is shaking their head at what you’re sharing, too.