Ahead of the upcoming New Brunswick election, the province’s electoral agency is asking New Brunswickers for one thing — stop sharing fake news.
It’s why Elections NB has launched a new media literacy campaign that urges citizens to “check it before you share it.”
“The exponential growth in the use of social media to influence elections has created a digital battleground that offers few, if any, rules to ensure the accuracy of the information being pushed out.”
Here are some of the tips the agency is recommending New Brunswickers use to identify real news and the fakes:
- Consider the source: Is the news from a legitimate media organization that you’ve heard of?
- Is it a joke? Satirical websites will usually identify themselves as such but not always
- Read beyond the headline: Headlines are supposed to be used to attract attention and won’t tell the whole story. Some fake news stories can be easily identified with a quick read through the article.
- Check the byline: Is the author a real person or does their name sound fake?
- Check the support: Look up the story’s sources. Do they support the content of the article?
- Check the date: Some fake news stories piggybacking off of stories that are years old, twisting them to support their new agenda.
- Check your biases: Confirmation bias leads to people believing information that supports their own views and disregarding information that doesn’t. Elections NB says they encourage people to put aside their biases before sharing.