How to Become a Conscious News Consumer

( – As news is shared more quickly via the internet, it’s become increasingly important to learn how to verify information and fact check what you read and hear. While fake information and propaganda have always been around, it has become easier to disseminate in recent years, meaning the public needs to be more cognizant of when they’re being manipulated or lied to.

While social media platforms have begun employing fact-checking organizations to help stem the tide of misinformation on their networks, it’s important to remember that no one person or organization is infallible, so it’s important to do some verification on your own. One suggestion is to be skeptical of everything you read until you see it’s verified. Don’t believe something just because it verifies something you already believe.

A massive number of the American population now get the majority of their news online, both from news websites, but also from social media, which may contain commentary from friends or strangers. In 2012, the percentage of people who got their news from social media was only 27%. By 2017, that number increased to 51%, and it has likely grown since then. Those numbers are even higher in Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. While public faith in journalism and the media is at an all-time low, it is important to find sources you can trust, even though it’s still necessary to verify information from all sources.

A good tip is to always check the URL of any website that you are getting information from. It’s easy to spoof a website by using their logo, so make sure the website address is correct before trusting anything they say.

While some platforms like Facebook have continued to fact-check information, users have criticized them for silencing dissenting opinions, which is why other platforms, such as YouTube and Twitter, now known as X, have announced that they are no longer removing content that goes against mainstream narratives in an attempt to allow more open political debates.

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