Editorial: We Need to Fight the Spread of Misinformation

Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |

We all know what happened last week at the U.S. Capitol. A Trump supporting “Save America” crowd marched all the way to Capitol Hill and violently entered our nation’s capital, interrupting a ceremonial counting of the nation’s electors that would solidify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election. 

The group responsible for the invasion of the home of our democracy was fuelled with allegations of election fraud, perpetuated by the sitting President Donald Trump and his supporters.

While these allegations are the basis and bedrock for the aggressive acts taken at the capital, they have been proven false time and time again both in the court of law, and by people close to the matters at hand.

Claims of “glitches” in a voting system  called “Dominion” were cited as a source of election fraud. And while there were voting issues in counties that used this system, the claims of systemwide software glitches were proven to be baseless. 

Another common claim of fraud comes from this year’s increased usage of absentee ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These claims were also proven baseless after election officials audited absentee ballots finding no fraudulent ballots. 

These people stormed our capital with information that has been disproven, but perpetually claimed as a way to claim that the election of Joe Biden was a sham.

We need to take this time as a nation to reevaluate how and what we believe when it comes to news and information as a whole. As young people, growing up in the day and age of social media, it is easy to believe and trust the headlines we see in “Twitter moments”. 

It is easy to get caught up in the “he said, she said” information transfer that seems so common in today’s social media sphere, that we may start to believe falsehoods over facts simply due to who “shared” it to their timeline.

It is easy to look at the people who believe in the election fraud claims down the end of our nose and say “that could never happen to me.” In reality, in the system that we have subscribed to of shotty information and blind trust of headlines, an event like this could have easily happened to either side of the aisle. 

So where do we go from here?

We as consumers need to take a step back and think about where we are getting our information. Basing worldviews solely on a social media timeline designed to keep you engaged in that app/website is inherently a flawed approach.

The same could be said about pledging allegiance to one news source and accepting all that is said on that source as absolute truth. Equally, swearing off of all news sources and getting all of your news through the “grapevine” of what other people tell leaves you extremely vulnerable to accepting said source’s bias.

We need to seek objective facts, not facts that support our own beliefs. It is simple, misinformation is the root cause of the divide in our country. We as a country will only unite when the information in which we use to gauge our ideology comes from fact, rather than confirmation bias.

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