Fact Checking is Necessary

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, Copy Editor

Unfortunately, in the world we live in some people chose to wrongfully inform the public, whether it be through social media like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat or just websites that are not truthful. Fact checking is essential in times like these where the public is scared and are searching for answers from anything willing to give them.

Due to COVID-19 people have jumped to the internet in search for ways to stop the spread and protect themselves. Elected officials have taken to doing live streams in order to correctly inform the public of what is going on in their city, state and country. Unfortunately, in a press conference held by President Donald Trump on April 23 some unreliable information was given by the president. “And then I see disinfectant, where it knocks it [coronavirus] out in a minute — one minute — and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning,” Trump said. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me.” It is common-sense to know that injecting the human body with disinfectants, which typically contain bleach and other harmful chemicals, would not be healthy. However, many companies like Lysol have issued statements warning against injecting their products. This misleading information given by Trump could have caused harm to people if they did not double check the logistics of injecting disinfectants and just followed Trump’s word.

There are many ways to double check the reliability of sources. One could do a simple google search and save themselves the harm of following bad information. There are organizations dedicated to teaching people how to check the reliability of a source. For example, MediaWise is a program where people from the organization go from school to school in order to inform kids how to check their sources. They also have a strong social media presence which sometimes shows popular gossip or information being fact checked by ambassadors from the program.

Sometimes a source is not necessarily untruthful but strongly biased which affects how reliable they can be. Sometimes news outlets lean strongly towards democratic ideas versus republican ideas or vice versa. Some news outlets only report on things that need to be fact checked solely so you do not use only biased information.

A popular term that has come about, due to Trump, is fake news. Many people have referred to this saying on social media when the disagree with something being reported or chose not to believe a story. However there is truth in the term, it has just been turned into a defense against things one does not believe in.

I urge people to be cautious when they receive information so they can be informed with the correct information. Check your facts before you spread the information because if that wrongful information spreads, depending on what it is, could hurt someone.