Midterm Elections - Are you ready for Social Media?

In a recent post, we looked at what if any changes have been made at Facebook since the 2016 election.  Frankly, we are skeptical, and this cartoon sums up our general feeling.

That said, aside from anything Facebook or the Russians might be doing for the midterm elections, it's more important what each of us might do differently.    So, instead of our usual two column format, today we provide a set of simple steps that each of us can do (and encourage others to do as well) so that we don't doubt the outcome of any of our elections.  All of these are equally applicable for spotting #FakeNews.
  1. Don't Share anything that you have not read or watched.  This is likely obvious to loyal readers that have internalized the #ReadThinkShare of this site.   Studies from 2016 found that 60% of social media users never read beyond the headline making one more susceptible to click-bait.
  2. Learn how to recognize Fake News on your feed.   Many of these come naturally if you follow our rule #1.    That said, some of the these are:
    1. Look at the URL
    2. Investigate the source
    3. Look for manipulated photos
    4. Double-check the dates.
    5. Is the story a joke -- Onion or other well known satire column.
  3. Learn how to spot fake accounts and profiles.   If you don't know an individual making outlandish or ridiculous statements it's likely not worth your time to engage a troll or bot.   Your time would be better spent reporting this to the Social Media platform.   Here are the steps to report this to Facebook and here are the instructions for reporting accounts on Twitter
  4. Lastly, be very suspicious of Social Media ads.  OneHeadlineADay.com will have an upcoming post on that topic.


  1. An additional addendum to this post. When considering my usual "counterpoint" format, I did encounter this post "Why It's OK to Share This Story Without Reading It" -- http://mediashift.org/2016/06/why-its-ok-to-share-this-story-without-reading-it/ while I generally discourage this, I do agree with the author's deeper conclusion (that you would only get to if you read it :-))

    "So the answer to getting people to read your articles isn’t to retreat back to the days of clickbait. Instead, it’s to consider more advanced metrics in the broad picture of reader engagement, such as scroll depth, time on page and total time reading."

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.