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Opinion

Fact checks and trolls

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

My former news desk’s identity was stolen on social media. It was a different name though, but the same photo and details as seen on his authentic profile. He was worried that the identities of those who work in the media industry are now being targeted by those also working hard at the troll farms.

Although we don’t have evidence to prove that trolls are indeed behind such ridiculous move, they are known to be fostering acts such as these. A study done in 2019 showed that these farms do exist working for specific influential people. The intent is clear: To shift the narrative of the current mindset to the ones that suit them. They want to win people over by trying to go by the route of the mind.

Meanwhile, there is another farm also trying to counter these trolls who do all the fact-checking. Google News defines it as an initiative to counter misinformation. Whenever the enemy attacks, they do a counter-move to make sure the story is set straight with no added frills. However, the problem now is the people’s perception. They tend to lean to those who create false stories because of hype and the creative means for them to get what they want.

As the election nears, those who have the capacity to fact-check are doing backbreaking work to make sure they are able to verify everything, yet somehow it feels like their efforts are in vain. Sometimes, I wonder how they will be going about this season of campaigning which is full of more than mudslinging. The post itself may not destroy the person but the comment section narrates a different story.

While those who are blind to this real dynamic of trolls and fact-checkers have the capacity to be wise. One thing is certain, “think before you act” as the old saying goes. When faced with doubtful content, instead of believing and joining in the bandwagon one should be able to scrutinize well. It is done by making sure the source is legitimate and the post has also been carried by major news websites.

Everyone has a stake at this election that has started to become very interesting as the days go by. We are seeing diverse views and opinions through fora despite a candidate who refuses to participate when the best opponent is put before him. These statements made out in the open will help us make better decisions as the month of May comes.

Our social media feeds will be exciting, as an array of colors will be splashing pink, green, blue, red, and a whole lot more. While it is important to respect our own opinions, it is also important to make informed decisions. These decisions should be lifted from clear platforms and experience, not just hype. Let us be wise.

FACT

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