By Jada Seto
In a generation controlled by mass media and posts that are curated by the billions, it has become harder to decipher facts from opinions. With platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and so many more, people all around the world are able to publicly share their opinions and ideas without a second thought.
Due to the presidential election and implications of COVID-19, people have been more inclined to turn to the media to try to spread awareness. In this politically driven year, many have turned to social media to receive pertinent information as well as regular updates. With news stations and sites prioritizing viewership over providing the most accurate perspective, the effects of understanding the truth have been compromised, leading many to believe false information.
“I’ve detached myself from indulging in media since it’s recently become increasingly difficult to decipher from bias within news outlets as of late. I usually cross-reference a lot to try and find a lesser amount of bias in what I'm looking into, but even still it is difficult now,” said sophomore Ishita Bansal.
Artwork by Shadia Zayer
Social media platforms such as Twitter have begun to leave warnings underneath posts that may be false.
For students who are trying to learn and add their voices to the conversation, it has become hard to distinguish between the right and wrong ways of distributing news. In the New Hyde Park community, students have been fortunate enough to learn how to find the most credible and unbiased sources, but with leaders and prominent figures relaying false facts, it creates a detrimental and desensitized environment for future generations.
Although the election has concluded, media sites still feel the strain of increased misinformation throughout this year and have put in place precautions that are meant to help their users understand where to find more concise details. By implementing warning signs and links to redirect viewers to credible sources, social media sites including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter have tried to take part in decreasing the detriments of misinformation.
“I believe that social media is great to raise awareness and get conversations going, but I do not rely on Instagram to give me factual information. Sometimes it’s great when a person shares something, but it can very easily become misconstrued. People have good intentions, but sometimes the pressure to share something, maybe induced by more politically or socially aware friends, ends up doing more harm than good by creating a circle for misinformation,” said senior Gauri Shyamnath.
As students continue to experience the effects of the election as well as the figures provided by sources and media outlets, it is important for everyone to do their research rather than reposting, retweeting, and commenting based on the surface level headlines or visuals. In hopes of creating a future that creates change through positive, more accurate means, students can start now to change the perception of misinformation.