Practical Advice

On Double-Checking Facts, Fake News and Urban Legends


Oh hello there, first 2016 post! I hope you all were able to make it through the New Year’s celebrations with complete digits and all ten toes. Social media was abuzz with people Instagramming their New Year’s feasts and Snapchatting fun activities and the ruckus of welcoming the year 2016.

While going through my feed today, I came across this video that resonated with the things my media professors taught our college class. I thought: it’s about time that someone produced a video that talks about the careless sharing of links without double-checking facts!

I am posting this so that you may learn and be wary. So many times have I come across contacts who pass on links, photos and videos without verifying the information. Some even put their own impassioned comments, only to be told off by their friends that the link they shared is a HOAX.

Yes, photos and videos can be manipulated. All it takes is slick Photoshop and video-editing skills. Don’t even get me started on NEWS. There is a difference between legit, unbiased news sites, gossip blogs, and those with curated creative content. I hope you also know how to differentiate real news from SATIRE and PARODY. David Emery, an urban legends expert says:

Satire is a venerable form of social commentary using humor to ridicule human vices and follies. The Internet is rife with it, especially news satire, or fake news, consisting of fictionalized accounts of current events presented in mock-journalistic style to lampoon politicians, celebrities, and social mores.

You need to filter out information before accepting it as true. Make it a habit to DOUBLE-CHECK FACTS–or are we too lazy to do that as well? You don’t want to risk spreading wrong information and embarrass yourself for falling for fake news. 🙂