Digital media expert says beware of fake social media posts about Ukraine crisis – InForum

FARGO — They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But in the age of social media, sometimes an image can be worthless. Recent posts show images or videos claiming to be from Russia invading Ukraine, but turn out to be fake.

Dr. Shuning Lu is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at North Dakota State University and currently studies the spread of misinformation online and how people interact with online news.

“General users will say, ‘OK, it’s trustworthy because a lot of people liked it, a lot of people retweeted it.’ But that’s not the case,” Dr. Lu said. “People can reuse the original footage in other kinds of stories that fit into the agenda of the Russian government or the Chinese government.”

She sees this happening a lot on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, as well as Chinese social media sites like WeChat.

Dr Lu says some people in Ukraine who post on social media may be marked as verified key witnesses. It also trusts verified accounts from renowned news agencies.

“Always verify who is sending them,” Dr. Lu said. “If it is not verified, be very careful about the authenticity of this content.”

If a post looks suspicious, cross-check it with a variety of reputable news sources and if it turns out to be fake, Dr. Lu advises you to report it.

She recommends getting updates on Ukraine through The Associated Press. We’ll also keep you updated on the Russian invasion and its local impacts on WDAY News and Inforum.

Comments are closed.