Why getting your news only from Facebook is not good

In today’s age it is common to see people get their news from social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Online information travels fast as it is very convenient to share it via smart phone apps. Unfortunately, often incorrect information also spreads like wildfire. There is a good amount of laziness among media consumers who do not try to validate the information before sharing or liking it. Sensationalism and propaganda thrive on this type of laziness.

Reading newspapers seems to be left to the older generation; which is probably one of the reasons why print media is not as profitable as in the past. People don’t want to pay to read the newspaper and carrying one is certainly less convenient when a smart phone is so much more powerful with it’s ability to connect to the web.

Apparently many, if not all, news channels are either biased with a political propaganda (especially in Chinese and Russian television) or simply chasing viewership ratings (in countries like India). Most youngsters and urban crowd seem to be always on the move. Texting via Snapchat, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, etc. is how they mostly communicate. The amount of time spent in front of screens has shifted from desktop computers and TVs to smart phones and tablets.

It turns out that many get their news from Facebook based on what was shared by their friends or “liked” by their friends. In addition to that Facebook has an algorithm that comes up with posts that it thinks the user would “like” to see. The algorithm is hopefully not biased towards or against any particular kind of posts. This is especially important because it drives what the users see on their feeds. A users point of view or understanding of a subject can be moulded based on what type of news or posts are shown to him or her. If you are curious here is a link that explains the basic technique that Facebook is using in it’s algorithm.

So if you are getting your information and news only from Facebook then what you are seeing is the result of an algorithm and the Facebook activities of your friends. You don’t want that. What you want is a reliable and unbiased source of information; a media source with a clear distinction between opinions and actual news.

Don't be lazy; research and validate the information and it’s source. We all have to play our part in cutting the digital bullish*t.

P.S. — I have nothing against Facebook. For what it’s worth it does a good job of collecting user data, selling that data, targeting ads, facilitating user narcissism, and generally knowing more about you than yourself.