Everyone knows by now that Russia was very successful in getting Americans to suck up fake stories and in just steering Americans toward the trending topics they wanted us to pay attention to in the last presidential election. They used their own propaganda sites as well as armies of bots and trolls on social media. Well, here’s a site dedicated to tracking their propaganda work in real time.
Here are some ideas for checking photos and videos you see online.
A handy tool for photos is https://www.tineye.com where you can do a quick reverse image search. For an example, during the last presidential election, I saw a photo on my Facebook feed of Hillary Clinton shaking hands with Bin Laden. It’s not real. It looked photoshopped and it took very little time to find out it’s from a photoshop contest from a website. It’s o.k. to have differing viewpoints. It’s not o.k. to swallow misinformation without at least a quick check.
Another easy way to fact check a video is if you see a short excerpt or clip from a video that enrages you, maybe check for a longer version before you share your outrage. This comes from both sides of the political spectrum (and from outside politics). Here’s an example involving Trump supposedly ignoring a disabled child.
Look, if you think you don’t have time to double check before you share a photo or meme, maybe you don’t have time to share at all.
Here are some helpful links to check before you share a link on social media. If more people were careful before sharing, there would be fewer false stories spreading and fewer crappy so-called news sites gaining clicks. It will avoid you getting an annoying comment by someone like me who likes to fact check.
Before you share, here are ways to spot a BS news story, from Cracked.com.
Check where bias falls (if it’s not obvious) and whether a site is known for being factual. Personally I am not as bothered by a bit of bias as I am by bad and nonfactual reporting.