While we’re in the throws of another presidential election year, the amount of propaganda is astounding.

The inability for some people to distinguish between misinformation, disinformation and fact leaves me at a loss for words.

I rarely share anything politically-related, unless it’s news that a candidate has dropped out of the race, or some funny satire piece from Babylon Bee or The Onion. And when I do, I share something from both sides of the aisle. You know — fair and balanced.

But, before I share anything I deem a legit news item, I do my legwork. I double, triple - even quadruple check sources. More often than not, I choose not to share things I come across.

In an age where my chosen career has been branded “fake news” for sharing anything opposite the opinion of someone - facts or not - I am very careful about what I do online.

A great deal of the past three years has been spent on the ideas of “Russian collusion” or interference. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t - at least how it’s been represented by many. 

It’s been found and verified that one of the biggest ways the 2016 election was interfered with was the swaying of public opinion in the United States on certain candidates and issues. With as much trouble and nonsense as we’ve seen in recent years regarding disinformation (truly fake news) and misinformation (mistaken facts, but not purposely swaying information for any sort of gain), you’d think everyone would ask themselves the same questions I do everyday:

1. What other legitimate news sources has shared this?

2. Who wrote it?

3. Does the website look suspect?

4. Is it published in at least 3-4 respectable locations online?

If you can discern that information, you can make an informed decision about what you should share.

Charles is a native of Barbourville, Kentucky. He has worked with The Mountain Advocate in various capacities since 2003.

Recommended for you