Most of us have that one family member who constantly shares the news articles on Facebook with titles like, “Planned Parenthood Teams Up with Satanists to Promote Abortion in Missouri,” published by Breitbart. Obviously, with a title like this, further research is needed.
This story—and many like it—are shared throughout Facebook and other social media sites by, let’s face it, older individuals. Political memes have also made their way to social media. Only this means that it is one image with a caption that may say, “Adolf Hitler: 6 million people. Planned Parenthood: 7 million babies.” This is created with no source connected and believed by most of those that share it.
Most of these stories can be fact-checked and are often debunked as the one mentioned above was. While it is already a concern that these articles and memes are being shared, it is even more concerning when you notice that the very same people that share this misinformation are the same as those shouting “Fake news” at more reliable publications such as The New York Times, NPR and AP.
The question is, why does this happen? As we know, politics are often controversial and something that many people do not take lightly. How people vote affects politics, and people are likely to act on how they feel rather than what they think.
It should come as no surprise when media outlets that are biased title their articles using strong language that will ignite a feeling of anger or sadness.
Conservative media is not the only side guilty of this. Liberal media does this as well, only it seems that their audience is more likely to do further research when an article or political meme seems questionable.
The lesson to be learned here is that, even if you do not agree with something, that does not make it fake. It may be a good idea to check where you are gathering your information from and who their sources are. Because, unfortunately, we live in a world that will spread false information in hopes of further dividing everyone.