Fake News and Fact-Checking: Social Media is Not Immune

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It is no secret that social media pages these days are filled with opposing opinions and hidden agendas. Fake news and misinformation usually peak during the times of a major event, especially if they are historic.

Some social media users can accept new knowledge and are willing to fact-check and even correct misconceptions. Many are not.

Many spread fake news simply to further a personal agenda. Disputes over fact and false information can be helpful, but some have no desire for the truth. Users will seek out arguments to create incivility on social platforms and cause even more confusion over the disputed topic.

In a peer-review article posted by the Harvard Kennedy School, research over the effect of incivility on social platforms and how fixing it could reduce the amount of misinformation and misperceptions. However, the consensus of fixing incivility on social media, while helpful, did not directly impact the problem.

People want to be heard, and sometimes, the desire to win someone over to a specific idea overpowers the desire to be truthful. 

Many choose to believe fake news instead, especially when it came to information during the pandemic, according to a recent study in Forbes magazine. The study found that those who keep up with news on social media regarding the pandemic were more likely to fall into the lies circling the virus and share it. Mostly because the information came from close friends or relatives.

According to Forbes contributor, Dr. Alison Escalante, those who read news on social media regarding the pandemic were more likely to fall into the lies circling the virus and share it. Mostly because the information came from close friends or relatives.

Many of these users are set in their ways. They have a cemented opinion already, and there is very little someone else can do to change it. Even so, corrections should still be handled with care and should always include the truth no matter what.

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