Election season is upon us, which means cut throat campaigns, political scandals and fake news on social media. Right now, Twitter is on blast for censoring and restricting Tweets involving leaked emails allegedly belonging to the son of Presidential candidate, Joe Biden.
According to an article published by the New York Post, the emails reveal that Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian business men to his father, Joe Biden, which is a topic of suspicious discussion for Republicans everywhere. Twitter immediately restricted users from sharing the article on their platform, claiming the article was a violation of community guidelines.
This potential scandal leads to the discussion of not only censorship rules, but fake news, and how readers can easily learn to detect it. LSU Professor Len Apcar at the Manship School of Mass Communications explained that LSU has resources to teach individuals how to spot fake news on their own.
One resource is the “Don’t Get Faked Out” cards, which are pocket sized fold outs containing tips and tricks to avoid being duped by fake news. Beginning in 2017, “We’ve passed out thousands of these [cards].” Professor Apcar said.
Another resource available to the LSU community is www.detectfakenews.com. The website is Manship’s “curated website about how to detect fake news, [including] some of the issues around fake news, [and has] resources for everybody.” Apcar said.
Many people think Twitter is actually restricting the freedom of speech, instead of just monitoring the safety of their community.
LSU student Steven Sieden said that he believes the censorship is “definitely part of keeping the community safe. However, when it comes to something so important like politics, [he doesn’t] think they should be restricting it.”
Other LSU students said they probably won’t trust Twitter as a viable news source. “I’ve never really fully trusted Twitter as a viable news source,” says LSU Senior, Sean Thomas. “I just take it for what it is; quick information that may or may not be true.”