Social media is a powerful tool where it can be used to quickly disseminate information. However just like all weapons, how it is used depends on the person using it, where in the wrong hands, it can be used to spread misinformation. In fact this is growing to be such a problem that former US President Barack Obama has recently spoken up about it.

During an interview with Prince Harry on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Obama spoke about how those in power should be careful about the things they post on social media. “One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanisation of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”

The former president does have a point, and recently there has even been a study where it has been discovered that fake social media profiles can actually be bad for one’s health, where the spreading of misinformation regarding topics such as health and medication can lead to people making the wrong decisions.

Thankfully we’re seeing social media platforms starting to offer ways to cut through the noise, but offering tools on spotting fake articles and the likes.

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