A Reuters Institute survey showed that over 82 percent of Indians source their news online. Out of this, 63 percent consume news directly from social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. In light of these statistics, it is important to recognize that social media is here to stay and will only expand as a news source in the coming years. So what do we do about misinformation, disinformation, and fake news? The first step is to acknowledge that news on social media is more prone to be fabricated. Once you accept that, every time you read a news piece, you'll be more conscious about it and will be invested in finding out the authenticity of that information.
Another trend that has been seen is that people rely on personal accounts on Twitter and Facebook and believe in whatever news article they share. These personal accounts often have a vested interest in fabricating a news piece or peddling misinformation. It is important to follow news portals and their social media handles instead of consuming news from personal accounts. On social media, you may be tempted to hit the forward or retweet button as soon as you read a news article. Refrain from doing so because you'll only be contributing to spreading the misinformation to a wider audience.
Always authenticate it, do a simple Google search and find the source of the news piece before forwarding it to friends and family.Recently, numerous fact-checking portals have also emerged. They are dedicated to verifying news and busting fake news articles and claims by personal and other accounts. You can do an Internet search of these fact-checking organizations, find out if they're valid, and then follow them for updates.Consuming news from social media doesn't have to be rocket science. But it doesn't have to be breezy either. You must invest time and energy in verifying news and then forming an opinion on it.