Don’t Follow Twitter Accounts for the Latest News
When events move quickly, such as last night’s protests against police violence in Minneapolis, disinformation spreads quickly too. Check your sources and don’t trust accounts that exist simply to distribute “breaking news”.
These accounts can be unreliable because people (and bots) often use news events to spread misinformation – either to advance the agenda or simply to play social media algorithms for popularity. Jane Litvinenko, a Buzzfeed correspondent, talked about this example today:
You can often find incorrect information by running the image through TinEye (the photo she highlights above is from an unrelated 2016 story), but it’s also important to ask: what is the source of this information, and why am I reading it in the first place? place?
When the news comes out, most of the information will be wrong at first. To filter out the worst ones, I like to refer to the journalists and publications that are present at the scene. For example, here is a chain of people in the Minneapolis area put together by a reporter who lives there:
Following local sources does not guarantee that everything you read is true, but at least you know who they are and why they are tweeting. Breaking news from other sources can be much more random, so always check where it comes from, and if in doubt, don’t share information until it has been verified by at least one reliable source.