Smart sharing in the age of mis- and disinformation

There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation going around on social media, especially when it comes to the upcoming election and relevant news stories. The CCE wants to empower you to spot fake news and help ensure that you are only sharing real and unbiased information. Are you sharing information that is correct when it comes to politics and elections?

Disinformation: false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.

Misinformation: incorrect or misleading information; not necessarily spread deliberately or intended to influence opinion.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before clicking that “share” button:

  • Don’t let your emotions rule what you post — did you actually read the article you're sharing? If you find yourself sharing a post primarily based on the headline, you may not have a full understanding of the situation. Make sure to thoroughly read articles before sharing. Take a quiz to test your fake news spotting abilities!
  • Check your sources. Can you verify their credentials? Are there multiple trustworthy sources backing up the original article? Learn more about evaluating your sources
  • Has this information been fact-checked? Check out sites such as Snopes to double-check! 
  • Before sharing a picture, try a reverse search to see where else it may have appeared. Test it out!
  • Read and share with a critical mindset. Start training yourself to pick up on key red flags when reading the news. Learn more about what fake news may look like
  • Keep an eye out on what your friends and family are posting. If you see something you think might be problematic:
    1. Fact check the information before you say anything.
    2. If it is misinformation or disinformation, send the orginal sharer a private message letting them know and sharing your sources. Commenting on the post only drives up engagement, further spreading the bad information.
    3. Keep it polite. Most people don't intentionally share false information, and embarrassing or degrading them won't help matters.
    4. Learn more about how to talk to friends and family members who share misinformation.