How to be Safe from Social Media’s Fake News

fake news social media
Disclaimer: Some opinions on political, social & economical examples are 
based on personal & sub-continent's points of view and have no relation to 
disrespect any particular person & organization.

Misinformation is feeding our soul

No matter, how silly you think social media is. It’s impacting our everyday life and dictating our next move or thoughts. We are constantly getting exposed to the news shared by people we know and do not know.

It’s not just personal anymore. As much as it’s affecting you, It’s affecting the big number of people and voters. It’s manipulating and changing your views about people, organization & the person’s you follow.

We are all being targeting. No matter what our political believes are and where we live.

5 Things we need to know about misinformation

Misinformation or fake news is the most serious threats that we are facing right now. We can avert road accidents if you do not go out very often. But, this threat is easily entering your and your peers home and affecting you when you’re sitting on the couch.

Do you know, in many places in South Asia, minorities home were attacked after getting manipulated from the fake news? Were those minorities had no idea about what’s going to happen to them 5 minutes earlier. So, yes. It can attack your house and family anytime.

1. It travels fast and drives by fear

We are generally designed to pick negative information over the position ones. The people who spread fake information know about this and plays on our emotion. Which entices us to share it instantly and more on Social Media and travels six times faster than the actual news.

2. It grows with social media and reaches a larger audience

For social media, we are the product. The more time we spend on social media, the more money they make. Their algorithms are designed in such a way that we receive shocking news more often than the normal one. Facebook had to change its algorithm multiple times to adjust after receiving notices from the authorities in the last couple of years. The biggest newspapers in the world are selling a few million copies, where Facebook is reaching billions with their news updates every day.

3. We are being targeted by the Corporations & Governments

Remember Cambridge Analytica Scandal? They shook up the social world and was accused of influencing US Presidential election. Not just corporation tying up with the Government. Some Governments are coming up with their own media outlets and propaganda channels. Where misinformation is being spread to gain favour for them.

4. Democracy is being crippled

Since social media gave voice to a large number of people. It became very easy to manipulate them as well. We are seeing the anti-democratic movement in many countries like Brazil, Myanmar and it’s eventually destroying our trust in mainstream media. Yes, social media a great threat to democracy now.

exploiting social media by politics
Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Facebook page on January 18, 2019

4. No one is safe from it

Study shows that even the most educated persons are likely to believe fake news. Even, I believed them in some cases. The people over 65 years of ages are even more like to share the fake news on social media. In some cases, fake facebook pages created by a propaganda group has more followers than the actual activist groups.

How to be safe from the fake news

  • When seeing any shocking news to social media, check if their pages are authentic or not (Look for the verification sign or complete page information).
  • After seeing any negative news, stop your urge to share it immediately over the news feed or message.
  • Verify any negative news by checking the mainstream media outlet first.
  • Go through fact-checking websites like JACHAI (for Bangladesh).
Fact-checking website Jaachai for Bangladesh
  • Do not take any sudden decisions like leaving your home after hearing an earthquake alert.
  • Try to think and judge, who’s going to be benefitted by manipulating you. Especially before any political, religious or corporate campaign. Marketers and Campaigners know how your brain works and they design their communication plan targeting your mindset.
  • When seeing any negative content regarding your locality, verify using the offline sources. Not from other people in your locality who has also seen them on social media. It’s very easy to do location-based targeting and create fake news only for your locality aside other areas.
  • Fake news always works around a veil and topic you are most likely to believe. Religion, Safety and Political topic work as a driving force for fake news.

It’s our battle to be aware of the fake news and its impact on our daily life. We can always limit our social media use. But, when our neighbours are also using it, you cannot be left behind. So, you should have the right tools and method in your disposal to be safe from the devastating effect of misinformation.

As a marketer, we understand it better than you. But, it’s not impossible for you to be a little aware and be safe in the age of fake news. Stay safe, stay vigilant.