Check your facts America


Ryan Lewis - Contributing - Columnist



I cannot seem scroll down my Facebook news feed anymore without finding some form of dissent in at least one out of every five posts on my newsfeed.

At one time I ignored such posts, but lately it has gotten to the point where the majority of posts are made without any factual basis to support the statement and that is when I have to stop, scratch my head, and begin my search for whatever it is that is being discussed.

Most of the time, I find that the original post was sensationalized and worded in some type of way to get the blood boiling of any who would disagree and it works. Very well actually.

Typically, the post is so inflammatory it becomes an immediate argument. There is name calling, family threatening, and a lot of overall ugliness that is entirely unnecessary.

It seems that in this day and age where times are changing and certain things are being revised to better encompass more individuals in our nation, a difference in opinion is no longer allowed.

I have been guilty of this many times, but have tried to check myself by fact checking so that I am better prepared to lay out my argument. There are few things as satisfying as proving somebody wrong, especially when that person has ingested every word the media has spoon-fed them and that person refuses to do the proper research to make sure the information is credible before sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

Obviously a hot topic and one of the go-to argument starters is the current presidential race. Each candidate has his or her own critics and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have supporters who refuse to see anything more than they really want to see or believe.

Recently, a friend of mine posted a video stating that Donald Trump was doing President Obama’s job by visiting Louisiana and claiming the president did not attend because he was on vacation and too busy to be concerned with the historic flooding.

The truth? President Obama has scheduled a trip to Louisiana on Tuesday and not sooner due to the Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asking him not to visit saying that a visit would be a drain on resources as the state still works to respond to the flood.

But some people refuse to fact check and instead believe everything given to them whether it is right or wrong.

We, as a people, must be better in this area. Differences of opinion are natural after all, we are only human. But sharing and spreading false information does nothing but divide us further.

Do your research. Become informed about a topic before you decided to share it on Facebook. Know that anything found on the internet can be skewed to fit an agenda. We have the world at our fingertips with the internet yet we use it for things that do not advance us or promote intelligence. We use it to create “memes” and to put people down.

It is time to do better.

For anybody interested, my go-to for fact checking is typically Snopes.com as they have never — to my knowledge — steered me wrong. My grandfather put me on to Snopes many years ago in an attempt to prove either me or somebody else wrong about a statement made. Being one of the most honest men I know, I feel if he gives it a thumbs up, it must be a good place to start.

Until next time.

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Ryan Lewis

Contributing

Columnist

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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