Learn how to Spot Social Media Misinformation on Election Day

(And each different day, too)

Picture: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Photographs

this significantly fraught U.S. Election Day, there are all kinds of the way to take part productively within the protection of our democracy, from casting your individual poll to encouraging others to solid theirs to working at or watching the polls. However there’s not less than one small factor you are able to do from the consolation of your lounge or workplace, and that’s to keep away from spreading election-related misinformation — or higher but, actively fight it.

I wrote in March about one digital literacy professional’s rigorously honed, appealingly easy methodology for spotting online misinformation concerning the coronavirus. It’s known as SIFT, and it works equally well for election-related falsehoods. (Spoiler: It doesn’t rely primarily in your vital considering abilities, and even your frequent sense.)

Talking of election-related falsehoods, there is no such thing as a extra energetic collector and debunker of these than the BuzzFeed duo of Jane Lytvynenko and Craig Silverman. As they’ve executed with numerous previous information occasions, the pair will likely be spending the day and evening addressing false and deceptive tales one after the other in each an ever-growing Twitter thread and a continually updated BuzzFeed post. Lytvynenko additionally has her personal thread of tips for spotting misinformation, and welcomes submissions from readers for posts to research.

In the meantime, the New York Instances’ Davey Alba is doing the same Twitter thread of debunkings, and he or she wrote a Instances story yesterday specializing in the flood of misinformation that’s inundating battleground states equivalent to Pennsylvania.

If, alternatively, all of the lies racking up gazillions of likes on social media make you wish to curl right into a ball in entrance of a Netflix fireplace, you would possibly discover some consolation in a current Slate story that argues Individuals are literally too anxious about political misinformation. Disturbing as it’s that the precise and left can’t even agree on primary details, UNC researchers Shannon McGregor and Daniel Kreiss level to analysis that means details aren’t truly the principle driver of individuals’s voting selections. “Instead of being swayed by a particular narrative (false or otherwise), people generally discern their own political identities, and those of others, to make choices at the polls,” they write.

Nonetheless, misinformation about the way to vote, particularly, looks as if the type that may make a distinction on Election Day in a detailed race. It isn’t about altering individuals’s politics, however thwarting their intentions. And even McGregor and Kreiss acknowledge that misinformation can play a job in entrenching political divides — a dynamic that performs into the arms of 1 candidate particularly. So earlier than you publish or share, strive the SIFT methodology, and cross-reference towards Lytvynenko or Alba’s feeds. Then, irrespective of how large or small of an issue misinformation seems to be as we speak, not less than you received’t have been a part of it.

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