Features Magazine News Volume 70, Issue 1

Fact Checking Informational Posts

By Eric Khodorenko

Ever since the May 25th murder of George Floyd, many Americans have been protesting in outrage over unjust police brutality. Much of that outrage is circulated on Instagram and other social media platforms, many demanding change and education of others on the incidents that are occurring. Frequent social media users can easily find informational posts, most of which have been imperative in the spread of information to people. However, the spread of misinformation has become an increasing problem on social media. The organizer of Diversify Our Narrative AUHSD, Las Lomas senior Dina Mirmotalebisohi, commented on the spread of posts with false information, “As most things in life, social media can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, people are educated on imperative matters, yet on the other hand it has also become a platform where false information is shared, which eventually leads to misinformed voters, misinformed citizens and uneducated ‘trend-followers’.” The problem with some of these informational posts is that they can go without being fact-checked and lead people on with biased or false facts. Sabrina Mintz, a sophomore at Las Lomas, doesn’t think people are regularly fact checking posts. “I do not think that people regularly fact check posts unless it seems to be something alarming that they’ve found and want clarification on.”

So how can people try to do better? Mirmotalebisohi answered, “First and foremost, people need to stop posting what 5 other friends have posted without reading the information it discusses. The first way people can fact-check is by reading articles regarding the topic from at least 2-3 trustworthy news sources.” All social media users would benefit from fact-checking the topics that they see on education posts. Most importantly, social media users should avoid blindly reposting information without reading the facts involved in the post.