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News Stories on Facebook

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2018
Following a trusted news source on Facebook should not be hard at all. Unfortunately it is!

I have personally came across multiple "news" pages that are aimed and targeted at BULLYING people and local companies here in my town! How can someone get away with it and how do followers not know what they are following?
This is what I personally suggest to make sure you are following a trusted news source:
•  Make sure the page is verified. A verified page will have a blue circle with a white checkmark next to the page's name.
•  If you see a ton of repetitive posts aiming towards a company or person, this can be used as a "bully news page".
•  Do your own research on news stories. Fact check yourself. If I find a story online that seems a little hinky, I will generally pull a google search and see if there are other news pages covering the same story.
•  REPORT any and all fake news pages. If Facebook is cracking down on them, why are we not?
Facebook recently added this really cool feature that fact checks news stories for you. Keep an eye out for it! It's super helpful!

Recently my brother in law got himself into a pickle. Well not really him, but someone with the same name as him did. Let's call these guys Thomas A. Dull or "TAD". Last week "TAD" number one (TAD1) committed a crime and was wanted by the police. Of course, this was ALL over social media within a few hours after the crime. The trusted news source did not have TAD1's photo to provide to the public. So you guessed it, people started searching TADs in our city and came across my brother-in-law's facebook page. So followers of the news page started posting his (TAD2) photo all over the comment section.

How did this effect my brother in law?
Friends and family started calling him asking what was going on. His employer was scared to let him come to work because of possible repercussions from the public. Police came to his house to talk to him. Because someone posted the wrong picture of the wrong guy in the comment section. Think how this could potentially put someone's life on hold!

So what can you do when you see a news story with someone's name, but no photo?

•  Do NOT facebook research yourself and post results for others to see them. Remember, just like an opinion, it's ok to keep these "results" to yourself!
•  DO suggest to the news station that they get an offender's photo from the police to publicly post on their news story.
•  If you know someone with the same name as someone in a news story, reach out to them and give them a heads up to either turn themselves in, or be cautious that someone with the same name are in trouble.
•  DO report said person if you have any information. Remember once again, reporting wrong information is still as important as reporting correct information.

This also brings up some privacy security opportunities!
Making sure your Facebook profile is locked down to your friends only is a checkup that you should be doing often. Make sure that your profile is shut down to strangers! You can review your profile as a guest by clicking the "view as" tab.

Remember, fake news is just rumors!