According to a 2019 survey, social media is now Americans’ No. 1 source for daily news; however, it’s the least trusted source.


After several years of battling the spread of “fake news,” Facebook enlisted the help of major news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today to add much-needed credibility to the new Facebook News feature.


The Pocono Record became an affiliate of the USA Today network through it’s parent company Gatehouse Media’s merger with Gannett in November 2019.


An estimated 69% of adults use at least one social media site, and 500 million Facebook stories are shared everyday. When it comes to news, how do we weed out what is real from what is fake?


Facebook’s News feature is only available on the mobile app, and offers a personalized dashboard and an option to report posts as “misleading” or “not relevant to my interests.” While this new feature is a step in the right direction, there’s still room for error. Users can easily report the most innocent articles as spam or harassment if left to their own devices.


The battle against misinformation begins at home. Honing your gut to wade through millions of social media posts and online articles takes practice, not just an app.


Two weeks ago, social media exploded with the “broomstick challenge.” The assertion was that a broom could stand upright on it’s own on Feb. 10. In fact, 37% of Pocono Record readers tried it out, according to a Facebook poll.


The post was only half-true. Yes, a broom could stand on it’s own every day of the year, not just on Feb. 10. NASA quickly took to social media to quiet the hype as thousands of posts hit the internet with the hashtag #BroomstickChallenge.


Thursday morning the Broomstick hype raged on, this time as a hashtag added to reactions to Wednesday night’s debate.


After watching the #broomstickchallenge that was @ewarren sweeping the floor with Bloomberg last night, & after taking the @washingtonpost quiz to better understand which candidate I align with most, I'm officially team Warren. #DemDebate #WarrenForTheWin #AnyoneButTrump2020

— Amy Underwood Arndt (@theamysituation) February 20, 2020

During a Twitter search Thursday, it was found that dozens of tweets in one hour were tagged #BroomstickChallenge, weeks after the initial tweet swept the nation.


It’s an example of how a simple — and silly — social media post can blow up and spread around the world.


If this tells us one thing, it’s this: Even after NASA debunked the initial post, people are still buying into the #BroomstickChallenge hype, even if they are doing so ironically.


Hopefully, Facebook’s promise to fight fake news won’t go down the same way.


— The Pocono Record