BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a tough stretch for folks who follow the news and want to get the facts behind the renewed debate over gun violence in the wake of the mass murder in a Florida high school.
For example, take the story of David Hogg, a senior at Douglas High in Parkland, a leading voice in the student activism sparked by the massacre.
But you may know him more from the cascade of false attacks on the kid by right-wing media, promoted by a re-tweet from Donald Trump Jr. and the energetic support of fake Russian social-media accounts.
Sharing this garbage got an aide to a Florida legislator fired this week but that didn’t deter the rapid spread of disinformation about what happened in Parkland.
For whatever reason, an indiscriminate news consumer might have been misled to believe fake, inflammatory versions of newspaper reports on copycat threats to other schools, and fake pictures of the alleged shooter, including one falsely depicting him wearing the t-shirt of Antifa, a radical leftist group.
Here’s the bottom line – if you want to have a chance at knowing the truth, you’ve got to work at it.
You have to be careful about unsourced claims on social media and news outlets you’ve never heard of.
You’ve got to watch out for claims from outlets with a clear political agenda. And you’ve got to be aware of how aggressively they’re trying to manipulate you.
Don’t be this woman, a tool of foreign meddling in our election.
Unless you think that’s a good look.