Filtering Fake News: How to Manage Social Media Content Responsibly

Honesty hour. As a self-proclaimed Swiftie, I fall victim to misinformation on social media more frequently than I’d like to admit. Between alerts on where Taylor was spotted, who she’s dating and when her new album will drop, it’s hard to keep up with what’s real as a fan.

Social media has transformed the way we communicate and access information. Not just for Taylor Swift fans, but for everyone. It allows us to exchange information and connect with the other side of the world in seconds. The possibilities are endless. Including misinformation.

Managing and filtering content on social media is a colossal task. With millions of posts daily, it’s almost impossible to filter opinions against false information, as a user, manager and client. Automation and manual moderation exist but can only do a portion of the job.

So, where can we step in?

The Spread of Fake News

Fake news is not information you disagree with. It is the fabrication of information that mimics real media content (Source: Cornell University Library).

Fake news spreads like wildfire. Especially with the emergence of AI technology, manipulated images, videos and stories can go viral quickly and mislead thousands. I’ve heard Taylor Swift cover songs she has never sung thanks to AI. Because 100 friends share it, it must be true. Right?

 Social media managers, users and platforms must become responsible.

The Responsibility of Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms such as Meta, X (Twitter), and TikTok inherently carry some of the responsibility for safeguarding us from misinformation. From pandemics to elections, misinformation can be polarizing and impact real people and real-world events. While opinions are important, so is transparency.

As primary news sources for many, social media platforms must create their own ethical moderation standards to break this cycle. Studies show that fact-checking flags to alert users of false information or potentially harmful content works. Users put confidence in these flags.

Our Responsibility on Social Media

While technology is improving, every social media user, manager and platform must be held responsible for being ethical in the content they produce.

As you moderate and consume content, be sure to add an extra lens to your view. Some easy ways to filter through content are to check for spelling errors, photoshopped images, date posted, your gut feeling, and more.

In this new age of social media, content moderation is crucial. These challenges aren’t easy, but we can work towards a solution together. By addressing these challenges, social media platforms can help shape a digital landscape where free expression and accuracy coexist.

Let’s create a safe and reliable environment together on social media for all users.

Anna Friesen

Anna has made the transition to PR from the broader marketing world, helping Hodges meet some of the creative needs of our clients. When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring new places, reading a good book and eating good food with friends.

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