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Tips for finding the truth online.

Wednesday March 25, 2020

By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems

In times like these, especially like these, it is easy to spread mis-information. There is so much information coming at us 24/7 from so many sources that it can be overwhelming and impossible to process entirely.

Spreading misinformation is easy, even if unintended. The chief medical officer of CVS Pharmacy shared in an internal memo that drinking warm water is an effective way to combat Coronavirus. Of course, it’s not. If you are going to share information, you have an obligation to verify it before passing it on. Even if you don’t intend to pass health information or other vital knowledge along, you should verify for your own personal well being.

In this regard, the power of the internet is both a wonderful and terrible thing. It transports information at the speed of light, able to “go viral” in seconds. But it also is a wonderful tool to check facts and verify information. What’s the best way to fact-check? What sites and tools are available? Here are a few tips to help you.

Trustworthy Websites                                                                                                                  Some websites are trustworthy by their very nature. For example, for health matters, you don’t need to fact check everything from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)  or the World Health Organization. You should click through links to be sure they really go to who they’re claiming to be. Main stream media sites are also fairly reliable, if you can set aside their level of political bias. A good website for gaining insight into a media or network’s bias and factual-reporting levels is Media Bias/Fact Check.

Check the date.
Information hangs around the internet for a long time, so be sure the information you are reading is current.

Use keywords to check it.
Odds are that anything you’ve seen more than once has already been fact-checked by someone. Search “Warm water prevents covid-19 CVS” and you will see several articles debunking the story.

Use fact-checking sites.
Sites like Snopes  offer reliable debunking of myths and legends and it is easy to use. Other good sites include FactCheck  and the UK-based FullFact.

Smell for rats.
Mis-information often inflates the facts with broad statements about their nature. Phrases such as “This test PROVES there is no fibrosis in the lungs” and “all viruses hate heat” are much to broad to be fact based and are a good sign that the information is at least overstated, if not absolutely wrong.

Global Property Systems says:
There is way too much information flying around out there, and everyone is clamoring for answers. Share what you know and be helpful, but check what you’re sharing before you send it off into the world.

If you’re looking for information about the Hudson Valley real estate market, CLICK HERE.



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