Don’t Fall for Facebook Fakes

Tips to steer clear of shady social media posts

Sometimes it’s easy to spot a hoax on social media, but when a trusted friend is sharing bad information, you might be fooled.

“Not surprisingly, fake news is all around us in health articles and videos,” says Alyssa Van Duyse, Social Media and Communications Specialist with HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals.

Van Duyse stresses that “fake news” is deliberate misinformation or a hoax, not just information you disagree with.

“One of the best ways to determine if an article is unbiased and true is by looking at and researching the source,” Van Duyse says.

She also suggests the following:

  • Consider the structure of the article. Is this a news article or an opinion column? An opinion isn’t necessarily fake, but it’s simply someone’s opinion and not necessarily factual.
  • Read more than just the headline.
  • Look at the publish date. An article published in 2016 may not be “fake,” but it might now be inaccurate.
  • What links and sources are cited? If there are no sources, be suspicious.

“Join Facebook groups for support, but plan to receive your health information from your doctor,” Van Duyse says.

For accurate social media posts about COVID-19 and other health issues, follow HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital on Facebook and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital on Facebook and Instagram.

You may also be interested in “Keep Social Media a Safe Place for Your Child.”