According to research, around 70% of American adults now get at least some news content from social media platforms, while people are also now more likely to stay in touch with the latest issues via social apps than they are from reading newspapers.
Add to this the fact that many smaller publications have been forced to shut down due to the impacts of COVID-19 and its fairly clear that social platforms are now a key source for news updates, and are only likely to become more important for such, That's why it's crucial that we consider the value of digital literacy, and educating people on what to look out for when consuming content online.
The value of social media is that it gives everyone a voice, and a means to share their thoughts and experiences with the wider world. That can be great for facilitating connection, but it also means that anybody can say anything, with few vetting processes or systems in between. That's lead to a new rise in movements like anti-vaxxers, or the more recent opposition to public health advice. And when you have publishers weaving through this, looking to capitalize on knowledge gaps in order to get more clicks, it's a dangerous situation,
That's why this simple infographic from the team at Laughing Samurai is relevant. In this brief overview, they provide six steps you can take to verify news content that you find online.
It won't protect you completely, but it's a good starting point to prompt more examination of what you read - check out the infographic below.