Throwing Shade

How to spot fake news on Facebook before you share it on your wall

AP File

No, the city of Gulfport is not getting a drive-in movie theater.

I know, it’s devastating that we won’t be able to park and sit on the hoods of our fuel-efficient sedans, lay out a blanket found in the TJ Maxx clearance aisle, and watch “10 Things I Hate About You” while looking up at the stars in Jones Park and eating boneless buffalo wings.

But for some reason, people think it’s true. The “article” has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

Here’s how to tell if a story is fake (as that one was):

  • The name of the “media company” is not associated with any local media in South Mississippi. Have you ever watched Channel 45 on the Coast? Does Netflix get Channel 45? No? Didn’t think so.
  • The navigation menu consists of “Home” and “Create a prank.”
  • There is a second large, green “Create a prank” button on the right side of the page.
  • The story is devoid of names, credible sources (or any sources at all), correct spelling and proper punctuation.
  • The “Share on Facebook” button is the biggest thing on the page.
  • It says “You’ve Been Pranked!” followed by three laughing emojis.

How to avoid thinking something is real before you share it on Facebook:

  • Click on the story and read it. Read before you share. It’s that simple.

For those of you who were being petty and sharing the link to see if other people would believe it, you and your friends may think you’re funny, but you’re the reason people think real news is #fakenews. Stop it.

For those that have been fooled — don’t feel bad. It happens to literally everyone. Just please be wary of Channel 45 News. It ain’t real.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @JustinMitchell_