24-Hour Media Diet: Spotting Misinformation

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

7:30 A.M. I woke up and immediately put on my favorite podcast, Gals On The Go. This week’s episode was about skincare. They talked about their personal skincare journeys with CeraVe dermatologist Dr. Mian who is a licensed dermatologist in NYC. I trust the credibility of this podcast especially since they had a professional expert on the subject join them in their discussion. It was entertaining and educational to listen to.

8:30 A.M. I listened to music on Spotify in the car. I love being able to curate my own playlists on this app and the home page always shows me when new music comes out so I never feel like I’m just listening to the same music on repeat. I even have a playlist dedicated to the new music I find and listen to called Revamped Daily.

A screenshot of the playlist I curated with all the new music I am currently listening to and loving.

9:00 A.M. At my work I am constantly working with media since it’s a newspaper, The Trinity Journal. We publish every Wednesday so my task is to go through the paper and make sure all the ads got in for that week, and work on sending out bills. I also answer the phone and work in our system to help people with their subscriptions or refer them to our reporters if they have any questions about an article. Additionally, if they need to submit any classified ads or obituaries for next week I will usually help them with that.

3:00 P.M. I got off of work and checked my Google calendar to see if I had any reminders set for the day. I like using Google calendar to keep track of my schedule and I synced it with my ASU calendar so it will remind me of any upcoming assignments due in addition to any plans I have. This has been most effective for me to keep myself organized and on time.

A screenshot of what my Google Calendar app looks like.

3:40 P.M. I got home from work and went on Instagram. I saw Cosmopolitan and Vogue magazine post about Jennifer Lopez’s multiple wedding gowns. I decided to read both articles to see if I could find any discrepancies from both of these fashion and style-centered publications. Not to my surprise Vogue had more in-depth coverage of the whole event and the dresses as they seemed to get a more exclusive look at the wedding compared to Cosmopolitian, and had more credible sources. Cosmopolitan featured more surface level details about the three different Ralph Lauren gowns bases on the press release from Ralph Lauren. Both publications credited JLo’s website where she shares more intimate details about her upcoming events and happenings with dedicated fans.

4:00 P.M. While scrolling on Instagram I saw an ad for SheGlam which is Shein’s makeup brand. I don’t support Shein because I have concerns about their labor practices as well as their lack of sustainable clothing options due to the fact they are a fast fashion brand, so I am shocked that I get ads for their other products. While looking at the website I see that they are also not cruelty-free or vegan based products so immediatley I am turned off from the brand and when I go to their about page they don’t mention anything about this except that they claim their products are “safe” which is the bare minimum I expect a makeup brand to be. It makes me question what they aren’t letting the public know and what other concerns customers have that they aren’t advertising or addressing.

4:15 P.M. Went on TikTok and saw an ad for Thrive Causemetics which is more in line with makeup products I would consider buying because their products are proudly 100% cruelty-free, and for every product purchased they donate to help communities thrive which is a great mission I would support.

5:00 P.M. While continuing to scroll on TikTok I find videos about people concerned about YouTuber Gabbie Hanna who I used to watch when I was younger. People are concerned about her mental state because she has been posting erratically and the content she is posting is very unlike her and questionable. This content could be considered misinformation because while people are publically voicing their concerns, some people in the comments are diagnosing her and suggesting things they don’t know as fact to be true. At one point in the day a deranged fan broke into her house claiming to be there to ‘help’ her and filmed himself in her house and posted those on TikTok. Eventually, police were called to her house where she underwent a psych evaluation and to discuss the break in. This Variety article better explains the intense situation and is a much better source of information than the people on TikTok.

7:00 P.M. I got a Facebook notification about someone sharing to my community’s page, Trinity County Community, where a lot of people post a variety of content. This specific notification, someone shared an article about President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan from the LA Times. The Los Angeles Times is an established news organization, so I would classify this as credible information and trust what the article says.

A screenshot of the post that I saw on Facebook about the student loan forgiveness.

7:05 P.M. While continuing to scroll on the community page, I saw another post by someone who actually caught misinformation being shared about our local farmer’s market. This article by Travellens.co is clearly more leaning towards an opinion piece masquerading as news and I would classify this site to be more satire and blog style than a formal publication. While it does a good job outlining some fun things to check out in Weaverville, the piece of information the person that posted the article caught was that in they called the our famer’s market, “Weaverville Tailgate Market,” which locals such as myself certainly don’t call it that, so it makes me question where they got that information.

A screenshot of the post shared on Facebook featuring the travel article and mislabeled farmer’s market.

9:20 P.M. I watched some TV, specifically the show Never Have I Ever which follows a young Indian-American teenager through her journey through high school while navigating relationships, friendships and school. It’s very much a satirical drama-comedy style show and based on a fictional characters and fictional places, but it is very entertaining.

10:20 P.M. I made sure my alarm clock on my phone was set and ready for tomorrow, and went to bed.

This exercise was enlightening because I find I really do gravitate towards established news organizations to fact-check information I see on social media which as you can see, isn’t always credible and it’s especially important to fact-check blogs and outside sources that may not have the most accurate information. I really did see more questionable content than I expected and it’s concerning that some people who don’t trust established news organizations will take all the information they see on social media as fact which isn’t always the case and just propels the spread of misninfromation online. The one pattern I noticed is that for every one factual piece of information online, there is about two or three others back to back that aren’t factual and it’s important to note that when consuming online media.

I hope you enjoyed reading this second enstallment of 24-hour media monitoring and let me know if you try this and feel free to share in the comments what you find in regards to spotting misinformation!

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