Opinion: The dangers of social media as a news source

Photo courtesy of flickr user Jason Howie// Social media is often the forum where news is received first by the public, but it is often not the most reliable source.

A majority of news found on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are either one-sided, dramatized, and/or bias. It makes people wonder, “how do I know what is reliable or not?”

Social media news sources typically are one-sided. It gives the reader their side on a topic, letting readers only have one perspective of the topic. The writer doesn’t give the reader an opportunity to form their own opinion of the topic because of the fact that it only has one side not the overall story.
Senior Reginald Hardy said, “I don’t think social media is always a credible source to get news from because people make fake accounts all the time.”
Every so often, people will go on social media find stories whether it’s about something important, like something political, or something not of much value like a celebrity’s relationship status. Senior Ashley Dunn said, “[The] majority of sites online, just tell us anything that they want to hear because they know we’ll actually read it. I just wait to hear it on a reliable news source on TV to tell me what’s going on.” There will be headlines that attract readers and makes them want to know more of the topic. By clicking the link that is attached to the title, they’re reading something that could be questionable in its validity.
There’s a variety of different ways that a reader can prevent themselves from believing something that they see on social media. The first thing an individual should do to see if what they’ve read a true story is by checking news that are shown on television. They can either watch it or go on the networks site. For example, our local news station News 12 updates both their channel and website when something happens whether it’s local or somewhere else around the world.
If someone wants to know if what they’re reading on social media about celebrities is true, the best reliable source is who the article is about. Sometimes, celebrities will post something through their social media accounts addressing the rumors. It’s difficult to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to celebrities lives, because it is impossible for them to address every rumor that is published. If they don’t address it, that’s typically when someone on a talk show will shed light on the situation and attempt to verify whether or not what is being spread around is true. Televised news stations are a more reliable source because they have connections with other celebrities that would actually know the truth. They hear a whole other side of gossip that readers have no way of getting, which is a luxury that social media does not have.

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