How to Fact Check
By Madeleine Chinery
During a polarized election season, there is a lot of information floating around. Much of it can be either misinformation (inaccurate information intended to mislead) or disinformation (false propaganda intended to influence public opinion), created by people trying to cause confusion and hostility among voters and citizens.
Just because you read it online or a friend sent it to you does not mean it’s legitimate. Before believing or sending any information relating to politics and the election, make sure you verify the facts.
Here are a few things you can do to validate information:
Look for attributions and sources. If you come across a graphic or chart, make sure there is a source credited on it. Look at this side-by-side graphic about the two presidential candidates posted on Twitter:
Other tips to check your information:
Check out reputable news sources to see if they have reported or disproved data you are wondering about. Non-biased publications are recommended.
Google it! If it’s factual, you will find the information on a reputable source.
Social media companies like Twitter, Facebook and Tik Tok have added disclaimers to content relating to politics to help stop false materials from circulating further. Before sharing information, look to make sure the content has not been flagged as fake or deceitful.
If you see a friend spreading false information, correct them. Getting the wrong information can lead to a misinformed decision and vote.
Remember that not everything on the internet and social media is true. Be responsible and fact-check before you share it with anyone else.