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How To Identify Misinformation About The Protests

War room leader for Brazil elections Lexi Sturdy works in Facebook's "War Room," during a media demonstration in Menlo Park, California.
War room leader for Brazil elections Lexi Sturdy works in Facebook's "War Room," during a media demonstration in Menlo Park, California.

There’s no shortage of misinformation online. It’s becoming harder and harder to determine what will lead you down a conspiracy-laden rabbit hole and what’s worth your time and attention.

Social media allows us to choose what voices we follow and hear. But that means you and your friends could hear completely different stories about a topic or person, based on your preferences.

A recent conspiracy theory falsely suggested George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who was killed by a police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, was actually alive. That theory is  completely untrue.

And tech leaders aren’t doing a great deal to stop the spread of misinformation online. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg declined to police President Donald Trump’s language surrounding protestors on his platform, much to his employees’ chagrin.

The president also tried to get journalists to adjust stories about a photo opportunity he engineered by tear-gassing peaceful protestors outside the White House, saying that authorities didn’t use tear gas. Even though they definitely did.

Republican politicians and operatives are also claiming that a group known as Antifa (short for anti-fascist) are responsible for whipping up the protests across the country. But Antifa doesn’t have “a leader, a defined structure or membership roles,”  according to The New York Times .

How can we combat misinformation online? Especially when the national discussion of issues is so critical to solving them?

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