According to Pew Research Center, about 53% of Americans get their news from social media sites.
Nowadays, society is turning to Facebook, Youtube, and other social media platforms for their headlines. And while it’s great that many people have easy access to news, the news itself isn’t always great. Because unfortunately, social media gives rise to false stories all the time.
Keep reading to learn how social media and news are connected in 2021.
The Immediacy of Social Media
Social media has taught us to desire content quickly, packaged in short articles or videos. And the news is no exception.
Social media news is just a click away and can be accessed from anywhere you go. Not to mention, it’s often faster than breaking news from cable channels.
But therein lies the problem. People are only getting half the story about real news, or worse, falsified stories masquerading as real news. Accurate news that shows the story in its entirety is often too complex to fit into a tweet or a one-minute video clip.
Social Media and Fake News
Social media can be a great place to distribute articles and videos from credible news sources.
However, it has also become a place where fake news is spread. And oftentimes, people can’t tell the difference between the two. And now, misinformation on elections, Covid-19, and other issues is spreading like wildfire.
And while you’ve likely heard recent social media news stories about sites improving their platforms, little is being done to stop the spread of misinformation. In fact, there are often no repercussions for spreading misinformation or even disinformation. But many sites won’t try and stop it because false news gets attention, clicks, and traffic to their site.
How You Can Combat This
It’s no secret that social media sites curate content for you that falls in line with your opinions. But when it comes to the news, this can lead you down a dangerous path that only allows for one way of thinking.
To combat this, go out of your way to follow multiple news sources to get different points of view. Then, you can make a fully informed decision on every topic, especially ones that affect your life choices.
In addition to this, you also have to be able to spot fake news. If you’re unsure if it’s fake, think about who the storyteller is, what their qualifications are, and what their agenda is. If any part of the storyteller or their intentions seem dubious, the news is probably lies.
Social Media and News: Now You Know
Social media news isn’t all bad, but it certainly isn’t all good.
So while you shouldn’t feel guilty for reading headlines on Twitter or Facebook, you should know how to decipher real news from fake news. And if everyone starts to take responsibility for the news they consume and share, there will be real change in the social media news world.
If you enjoyed this article on social media and news, check out our technology content.