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31/03/2013 by
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Can You Really Believe What You See Or Hear In Social Media?

Do you believe all what you see and hear in social media? Before there was Twitter, Facebook, and a number of the other pertinent social media sites, many people simply got their daily news the old-fashioned way.

fake shock 500x333 Can You Really Believe What You See Or Hear In Social Media?

In today’s connected society with over abillions screenagers, however, countless individuals will peruse the above-mentioned sites and others to get their daily dosage of what is going on around the world.

So, is that a good or a bad thing?

As you ponder that question, look back at a few recent social media gaffes.

Some mistakes that left many worldwide scratching their heads?

* In early 2012, at least one prominent social media site had prematurely killed off former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno before his actual death;

* The devastating massacre of innocent children and faculty at a Connecticut elementary school late last year led to the wrong brother being initially identified on Facebook and elsewhere as the gunman;

* Just recently, former President George H.W. Bush sent out a message that he didn’t want to hear the harps playing just yet, this after some erroneous tweets had reported the death of the nation’s 41st President;

Celebes and Fake News

Celebs Who Fell Prey Fake News 1 500x375 Can You Really Believe What You See Or Hear In Social Media?

What if your are a celeb, movie star, football player or other VIP?

How often are messages and gossip provoked by consumers, media or enemies?

How often do celebs create fake actions to start the rumour around their brand? Remember Paris Hilton stealing her sextape (DVD) from a store and being accidentally caught on camera?

Remember Janet Jackson and the boob “incident”? Celebs are often the epic center of gossip and false messaging.

But some, do create (fake) news to earn extra attention. Should we mention Charlie Sheen?

Former Baywatch chief David Hassellhoff?

So, just how reliable is news that is shared on social media? How reliable is news about the rich and famous in social media?


My Opinion?

In many cases, social media users will pick up the feed of a news outlet who may not have all their facts straight when reporting on a story.

Users will then tweet or share such information with others, and before you know it, what may just be speculation or rumor appears to be factual.

The emergence over the years of reporters in the field having mobile devices to tweet and share news items is both good and bad.

On the plus side, the news will get out there quicker, allowing more individuals to know what is going on, especially if the matter could impact their safety.

On the down side, putting something out there before it is proven to be factual can lead to misinformation, facts that are just not that, and even potential lawsuits in the event someone feels their reputation was damaged.

As more people inevitably turn to social media sites going forward, is society as a whole better off for this?

If not, what safety measures can be put in place to prevent the wrong information getting out there, information that could impact countless people?

Only time will tell if social media and the news can properly co-exist as one.

What About You?
What do you believe in the social media galaxy and how do you check if things are really true?

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About the Author

With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers small business topics for a variety of websites, including Reputation.com

 

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Comments (1)

  • Laurens Bianchi 02/04/2013, 09:00

    I often check the main news channels to find out if a rumour spread on social media is actually true