Social media and fake news.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I sat down and watched an entire news program on TV. I get all of my breaking news from social media.

Social media has become the main source of news online with more than 2.4 billion internet users, nearly 64.5 percent receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram instead of traditional media.

Most of the time, social media is as fast, if not faster, than “regular” news outlets.Social media is a powerful tool for spreading information. It reaches faster and farther than any communication method to date.

Social media can be cluttered, no doubt about that. There are far too many messages for us to take in every single one.
But, when you’re sharing a message of hope, or a post of joy, or a status that makes someone smile…it cuts through clutter. Those messages stand apart from the noise of the ordinary.

And you and I – well, more importantly, you and I and your teens can be agents of change. On Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Tumblr. Or Instagram.

So whether it’s collaborating with friends on a homework assignment, or sharing an inspirational pep talk, or posting a photo to brighten someone’s day, or passing along important news of a missing child, or anything,
Social media is powerful. Social media is information.

Let’s choose wisely what messages we spread.

It’s the age of “fake news” and gone are the days of waiting for the morning news for breaking stories or reading gossip magazines for the latest celebrity dirt.
We now have all the information we need at the touch of an app and most people now get their news information online, specifically from social media. 

However, social platforms have a control over what news and information we see. Our social media friends have become the “managing editors” deciding what we see.

An article needs to be “liked” and shared multiple times before many people see it in their feed. Therefore social media and your social friends have control over what news pieces you see and what you do not.

In a recent survey, 50 percent of Internet users surveyed said that they hear about the latest news via social media before ever hearing about it on a news station.

Many internet users will see the breaking stories on their feed and go to the news sites to learn more. The survey found 57 percent increase in traffic to news sites referred from social media.

There are also many “fake news” websites that compete for attention with sensational headlines and ridiculous storylines that tend to get shared more often due to the lack of readers fact checking or reading more than the headline. That means that authentic content is hard to come by now. In fact, fake news is actually more likely to spread than the truth.

News happens fast now. Today’s story will be tomorrow’s forgotten story. It is easy to miss things now because of how quick stories can get turned around and shared.

While having so much information at our fingertips is great, it is worth always checking sources and not taking headlines as truth. With social media as our new news managers, it is up to us to be the new fact checkers for media.

Categories: News

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