By Israel Babalola
Social media has been a vibrant tool in connecting various people together no matter their tribe and way of life. It is a vital tool that socializes people either from the same community or not, engaging each other with in-depth topics that concern the society. News stories and opinions speedily gain exposure amidst people, making social media a strong seat to get updated on whichever topic of one’s interest.
As vital and important as social media is in disseminating information to the people, the bad side; fake news cannot be overlooked. We need to fight the bad side of social media so as to shine more light to the good side in our society.
Fake news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust. Fake news is a downgrade to the contribution of social media to our society. The more people we have on social media the quicker it is to spread fake news.
Fighting fake news is one of the most effective ways of removing economic incentives from carriers of misinformation, knowing fully well that a lot of fake news is financially motivated; the gain that comes back to the initiator of such fake news becomes retarded and falls in the negative on the platform they’re using. Meanwhile, such can only be done from the platform creator’s end, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
Also, one of the ways of filling the loop holes of fake news on social media is through the identification of a credible and reliable source of a particular information. Many people care less of where a news is coming from, who the author is or who shares such information. All they know is just to share the news for people to see, whether or not it’s a true or false story. In other words, trace the original source of every news before you share out for public consumption.
Also, check out the publication date of the story you are about to share. At times we share stories meant for a particular period of time. So, spreading news without minding if such is a recent story that has fulfilled it’s essence at the published period, making such news to fuel up negative emotions. Stale news at times fuels unnecessary disagreement among people.
One sided news are not far fetched to fake news because it aims to praise one side and condemn the other. Biased stories i.e. one sided stories are enemies of progress of a community.
Fake news on your social media news feed can as well be swept away, as all social media platforms has introduced action taking buttons, either to hide, report the account handler of the fake news itself or counter the post as declaimer, and not joining others to spread such fake news. Filling the loop holes of fake news is really a collective effort and responsibility of everyone.