The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Social media can distory truth in politics

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In a time when news and information is largely shared through the Internet, it can often be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.  There are biased online news sources, blogs, journals, and other sites, some of which are even entirely satire.  Facts, figures, and reports can be twisted one way or another, the truth can be stretched, and made-up stories and statements can be presented as authentic.  
These problems with getting at the truth are greatly magnified when it comes to social networking.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even online communications like email, can increase the speed at which these distortions and lies reach everyday people.  One person mistakenly finds false information and decides to email it to everyone at the office, and suddenly there are several Facebook arguments about something that isn’t true from the beginning.  Or, for instance, say that there is a Youtube video created that unfairly portrays a situation in the news.  The issue is shown in the wrong light, but since the video contains a catchy Top-40 song and features clever graphics and inspiring interviews, it’s suddenly the latest sensation on everyone’s Facebook wall.
With an important election approaching, knowing how to interpret information is critical in shaping one’s political opinions and stances.  There’s plenty of complaining, conspiring, and mud-slinging from all areas of the political spectrum, and things get even more complicated when the misguided masses get ahold of bad information.  Facts about issues like a candidate’s positions, race, religion, and personal history get muddled.  Those seeking a legitimate stance with real facts to back it up are left scrambling for the truth.
    The most effective way to discover the truth is to take everything you read online with a grain of salt.  Shop around, get ideas and viewpoints from various sources, and realize that just because something is popular it is not necessarily authentic.  Talk to real people, gather real opinions by word of mouth rather than from a mass email.  Discover truth in real issues that inhabit your everyday life instead of blowing the issues you read about online completely out of proportion.  Weigh what you read online equally with your real-life experiences and the experiences of others.  Sensationalized Youtube videos and angry Facebook rants should have as little influence on a well-informed person’s opinions as possible.

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Social media can distory truth in politics