Say it with me now!
You are not noticing trends within the population in your newsfeed. You are noticing trends in your own behavior as the platform’s algorithm continues to feed you similar content based on your consumption – content from your friends, from private and public groups, from pages, and from ads.
Social media platforms allow you to publish content at will without confirming whether or not it’s true. And many people publish FALSE content on purpose – all the time. In fact, people make money doing it. Combine this reality with social media’s ability to push ads that also aren’t carefully vetted for their validity or credibility make it a breeding ground for misinformation – especially if you believe what you hear and read without questioning where it came from, the validity of the name behind it, and *even if that particular person truly said it.*
Facebook and other platforms also can – and do – filter content at will based on their own policy defining what is non-permissible content. Like it or not, that is their right as a company and you conceded to it in a written contract when you signed up to use the platform. Your rights are not being violated by this, but you should be mindful that it happens.
Social media is not a news source. It is not a place to uncover facts. It’s a social forum. That’s it. That’s all. If you want to learn something, you must get off of social media and start doing your own, properly executed research.
I get that research isn’t easy. It’s time consuming and it can be tedious. I do it for a living. I work with information every single day that I have to ask:
“Does this really mean what it seems to mean?”
“Is this source credible?”
“Is this correlation valid?”
But you can learn how to do this. Invest in that learning. You will use the critical thinking skills in numerous aspects of your life. Here are a few crash course tips to get you started:
How to Improve Your Research Skills: 6 Research Tips: this is a very basic list of elementary research tips, but they’re a good place to start. Also, I’m a big fan of MasterClass – their courses are extremely informative.
🛑How to vet internet sources🛑: Everyone should know the basics for vetting internet sources. This link gives you a checklist you should apply when researching information online.