Professor urges social media users to fact check

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – You may have noticed on your Facebook feed that some of your friends are leaving the social media platform and heading to another.

Right now, people are flocking to the app, Parler, which markets itself as an unbiased social media platform. Some have even called it the “conservative Twitter” and right now it is topping the charts in your app store.

With a platform that prides itself in allowing users to post any information they want, other users should fact check what they read across all platforms, according to a Western Kentucky University professor.

“Facebook, Twitter, Parler those are all social medias. That is not news, it should not be used as your main form of news,” said Dr. Saundra Ardrey, a political science professor.

According to the Pew Research Center, about one in five U.S. adults say they do get their news through social media sites, which is why platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have taken a stance to curb the spread of misinformation.

You may have seen a message on Facebook that reads, “this post goes against the site’s community standards.”

Facebook says the platform is committed to fighting the spread of misinformation and works with independent, third-party fact checking organizations to make sure false information isn’t spread.

This has led many loyal Facebook users to flock to Parler, where users are allowed to post any information they want.

Many Republican lawmakers, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, have joined Parler and are encouraging others to join as well.

Senator Paul tweeted in June about the platform.

“It’s about time y’all joined me on @parler_app . What’s taking the rest of you so long,” he tweeted.

Many are worried, though, that misinformation spread could be dangerous in the current political climate.

Ardrey said misinformation isn’t the problem to solve, but it is something that needs to be managed.

“We have to give every belief, every speech, a fair opportunity to be heard in the market place of ideas. Then we can say ‘well that’s not true’ or lets talk about that.’ I do believe that you need to have an environment where you can support all that and just know it is up to us then to critique it.”

Ardrey said when doing your fact checking, be sure to get your information from reputable sources.