ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — You see a meme or video about the COVID-19 vaccine and wonder: Is this real?
Then you scroll through your social media feed and see it again and again.
Chrysalis Wright, a psychology professor with the University of Central Florida who studies misinformation says this is intentional, and dangerous.
And in the past few weeks, the amount of fake news has skyrocketed as the FDA gave emergency authorization to the first two vaccines, and people started receiving it.
“It’s not a good idea to get news from social media in the first place,” Wright said. “When we log on, we only see stuff that confirms the views that we already hold, whether those views are accurate or not.”
And more and more often, people are seeing posts that just straight-up ignore facts.
“So this fear of the unknown, kind of prompted an increase in fake news and kind of a magnet toward it for a certain extent,” Wright said.
Here’s how you can make sure you’re armed with the facts.
- Check for a source on the post or in the caption.
- Always check to make sure what the poster is referencing is true.
- If the headline seems sensational, that should also be a red flag.
- Your best bet is to share information directly from the CDC, research hospitals and universities.