Checking Facts Before Sharing on Social Media

When it comes to sharing on Social Media, there are some things that just need to be checked first. In the past few years, I have seen the same stories shared over and over again. These days, no one seems to be checking facts before sharing on Social Media. They just share because of the headlines that are usually click-bait titles.

Checking Facts Before Sharing on Social Media

Missing People

We all want to help in the finding of missing people. No one wants to see other parents go through the devastation of looking for a lost child. No one wants to see a child search for a missing parent. What if that child wasn’t really missing, what if it was an abusive father searching for the mother. We see the headline “Missing” and we feel the need to automatically share. We want to save that person by any means.

Well, if you don’t check certain facts first, we could be sharing for no reason at all and then 10 others share just because you did and they trust you.Checking Facts before sharingI have seen multiple posts of the same missing boy that was found 2 years ago being shared just last week. I don’t understand why, especially when the article or post is dated 2017. That would be the first clue to check and just by clicking the link, you would realize that the boy was found within days of the original post.

As much as it takes 2 seconds to share, it also takes 2 seconds to click and read.

Contests

We all want to win something at some point after entering contests for a while. How do you know if the contest is real? We enter, we share and hope we win. Unless you can tell if a contest or giveaway is legitimate, you need to know how to spot the fake ones first.

Take a look at the link or website URL. Does it look real? Do a search for the company or brand’s Facebook page and check the website details. Do they match the post for the giveaway? Don’t just like, comment and share because it says you will win $1000.

Facebook pages are created every day to scam people out of information or get likes so that it is viewed and put in front of many more people. If you are a contester you are probably aware of these fake giveaways, if not you are hopeful and share “just because” you might win.

Medical Advice

Just because someone posts about an ailment of some sort, doesn’t mean they are looking for medical advice. If they are asking for advice, send them to the Doctor. If you are not a medical professional, you shouldn’t be giving advice or sharing remedies. While these remedies may work for you, they could be dangerous to someone else. Just because it is “natural” does not mean it is better.  We don’t need to put foreign objects inside our bodies or drink miracle potions to detox.

So many children die each year because parents won’t seek medical attention for preventable illnesses and by the time they do, it’s too late. You shouldn’t really share or give medical advice of any kind online, it could cause a bit of trouble.

If you decide to share something online, please make sure to check that what you are sharing is legitimate, not advice or an opinion. Just the plain old facts.

How to Check Facts

There are many ways to check the information you see and read online to see if it is real or fake. Below I have listed a few websites and a few browser extensions that will help you out.

Websites

That’s Nonsense – one of the leading websites on the Internet that deals with debunking Internet hoaxes, hearsay, rumours and fake news.

Hoax-Slayer – the Hoax-Slayer Website is to help make the Internet a safer, more pleasant and more productive environment by debunking email and Internet hoaxes, thwarting Internet scammers, educating web users about email and Internet security issues and combating spam

Snopes – Snopes started in 1994, investigating urban legends, hoaxes, and folklore.

Browser Extensions

BS-Detector – Warns users about unreliable news sources

Fake News Detector – Detect Fake News, Click Bait and more from your newsfeed, and let you flag them to help others.

What You Can Do

There are so many more sites that you can use to find the facts, click-bait articles, biased articles and more. Please stop spreading misinformation. Type in debunk and a list of articles will show up. Check a few sites before sharing.

If you think the story doesn’t quite sound right, it probably isn’t. A large number of websites are satire, fake and rumour based. Know the difference and know what websites are known for doing this.

Remember that YouTube is not a reliable source. Look beyond the videos and you will find the real news.

How many times do you have to remind people that they should read what they are sharing, tell them someone was found before you give up.

Do you check before sharing or share just because? Please make sure you are checking facts before sharing on Social Media

 


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