Fact Checking on FB

Fact Checking on FB

As writers, we are all marketeers (without mouse ears.) Social media is an important venue for us and Facebook is perhaps the most significant of these venues. I’ve been watching closely to the posts that have come across FB over the last year. Many have been sketchy, others clearly false, and some downright scary.

Note: We’ve all received emails to take advantage of an offer from, as an example, Amazon@Susie.com, right?  Need I say more?

FB has posted the following tips on how to determine which posts are, indeed, false news. I thought this was a small step in the right direction. For my blog, I decided to list these in case you’ve missed them.  So here, in Facebook’s own words are tips to spot false news:

  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  2. Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.
  3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.
  4. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
  5. Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
  6. Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.
  7. Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  8. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
  9. Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
  1. Some stories are intentionally false.Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.

Please share your own experiences.  Ideas always welcome.

 

Facebook Fatigue

Facebook Fatigue

I’ve been noticing in the last few months that my incoming Facebook posts have dropped off significantly.  And the ones I do see posted are LoL cats, dogs, dancing birds or other animals, or “happy” people.  Has anyone noticed this too?

Holidays are fast-approaching, and this may be one reason for the slack.  People are too busy, too tired, too too . . . But I think there are other reasons.

First, is the furor around FB and Mark Zuckerberg and the claim that he/they enabled the spread of misinformation during the presidential race.  This is now a central focus of the Justice Department probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Second, is the barrage of political messaging that has been bombarding members since the election.  Enough is enough.

Maybe there is more to this fatigue, however.  I’ve noticed a general lethargy in all my social media networks.  And a definite leaning toward the “light and fluffy” in postings.  I’m calling this Facebook Fatigue and wondering what its implications are.

The world is changing rapidly.  I don’t mean just climate change.  Think about it.

Air B&B’s are competing with hotels, so hotels are offering specials for your business.

Uber is squeezing taxi cabs.  Small businesses are being shut down by the big boxes like Walmart, and now by online amazons.  I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages.  Consumers can get products cheaper and have more choices, but possibly at the expense of worker safety and health conditions.

People are working harder and longer for their dollars today.  Students are having trouble finding good jobs and, hence, difficulty paying off their college loans.  So cheaper and faster products and services may be better.  Maybe?

Forgive the rant.  I’d be interested to know if you are facing the same situation with FB and social media as I am.  Ideas welcome.

 

Facts Vs. Fancy Vs. Freaky

Facts Vs. Fancy Vs. Freaky

As writers, we are all marketeers (without mouse ears.) Social media is an important venue for us and Facebook is perhaps the most significant of these venues. I’ve been watching closely to the posts that have come across FB in recent months. Many have been sketchy, others clearly false, and some downright scary.

Note: We’ve all received emails to take advantage of an offer from, as an example, Amazon@Susie.com, right?  Need I say more?

FB recently posted the following tips on how to determine which posts are, indeed, false news. I thought this was a small step in the right direction. For my blog, I decided to list these in case you’ve missed them.  So here, in Facebook’s own words are tips to spot false news:

  1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
  2. Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.
  3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.
  4. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.
  5. Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.
  6. Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates that have been altered.
  7. Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.
  8. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
  9. Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody, and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.
  1. Some stories are intentionally false.Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.

Please share your own experiences.  Ideas always welcome.