The Internet and social media have made the sharing and distribution of information a lot easier than it once was. You can share something with two clicks of a mouse, and no research at all. As easy as it seems, a lack of research can land you in unexpected trouble.
There has been an image circulating around Facebook that claims Author Dean Koontz predicted the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness. Though the image appears convincing enough, it was proven that he did not predict the virus. If you find yourself questioning the validity of a claim, snopes.com helps to point out what is true and false within it. If you are worried about a website’s credibly as a whole, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com provides insights into various news sources.
Trending images on Facebook always need more than one look. You should also pay close attention to any articles you decide to share. At first glance they will look credible, but it’s important to take note of the website domain name, and whether you can find other examples of the authors published work; as well as whether they have an easily found and professional point of contact . Proper spelling and punctuation are also an indication of an article’s validity.
Have you ever felt like you’ve seen a post before, but can’t figure out where? tineye.com is a website and Chrome extenstion that allows you to check when and where else an image has been shared across social media. This can help determine how old a source is, and the original context in which it was used.
Why should you fact check what you share on social media? Sharing misinformation can create a lack of trust between yourself and your intended audience. Along with the tools and practices mentioned above, use your best judgement. If a story or post appears a bit fishy, shocking or too good to be true, it likely is.