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Separate the Real from the Fake

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If it’s on Facebook it must be true, right?

How often do articles that are shared on our Facebook timelines fool us? I’m talking about the articles reporting the death of a beloved celebrity (for the 5th time in 2 years), or the fact that Ebola victims were seen rising from the dead in Africa as zombies? I mention these specifically because I’ve witnessed a few friends share them with the belief that they’re factual due to their well-crafted headlines. Headlines can be tricky, however, even when we find sources that go against our own personal bias. I mean, who wouldn’t believe that the Pope endorsed Donald Trump in the past election?

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for individuals to believe sources on the internet without doing a little fact checking. Relating back to an earlier Thoughtwell blog post, one cannot stress the importance of verifying your information and spotting the “fake news” articles that weasel their way into the crowd. Paying attention to key things like the misspelling of the website name and verifying the information through sources like Snopes are a few steps you could take to help save you from having to embarrassingly explain to your friends why you shared an article on the proposed saliva based hunger tests that determine if people in poverty are indeed hungry.

Satirical news sources can be fun as long as you’re aware of what’s true and what isn’t. Who doesn’t like a little humor every now and then? Even Thoughtwell has had its share of fun with developing alternative facts in the past.