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Fake News Continues

In the last day or two, major media outlets have run two stories, one on Biden allegedly refusing to commit to support Sanders as the nominee and one on Feinstein allegedly leaning towards acquitting Trump, which had to be corrected because they weren't actually accurate. In both cases, the person's comments were available to the news organization, but were misinterpreted. In both cases, the news organization corrected the headlines in the actual article, but let the old inflammatory headlines continue to appear in Facebook posts.

This is concerning. We already have a serious problem with fake news in this country. The real news should be working to reduce misinformation, not spread it. And when a news organization corrects an article, they need to correct it all the way, and not continue to spread misinformation via incorrect Facebook headlines.

Take everything you read with a grain of salt. Take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt, even if it's an actual video of the person making the remarks. People's remarks can be taken out of context, so you can still be mislead by a direct quote. When you see something outrageous, respond with skepticism before you respond to outrage. This is especially true if the outrageous thing would confirm your pre-existing beliefs. We're most vulnerable to misinformation that reinforces what we already believe to be true.

The point about headlines is especially important because social media headlines are how people get most of their news. There have been a lot of studies that have looked at this, including one that found that "59 percent of all links shared on social networks aren’t actually clicked on at all". That's a pretty grim number.

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