If Mark Zuckerberg won’t protect us from political ads that lie…

What do we do?

We protect ourselves.

By now, anyone who has paid a moment’s attention to trolling, lying and outright fake news utilizing social media knows they exist. And knows we users of social media are the targets.

I argue fiercely that no one who is capable of drawing distinctions between fact and lies —  the majority of us — can be brainwashed by fakery.

As Kara Swisher opined in “Silicon Valley Won’t Save Us From Trolls,” in the December 20, 2018 New York Times (my bolding):

For now, it’s not clear what we can do, except take control of our own individual news consumption. Back in July, in fact, [Renée] DiResta, [a disinformation expert and director of research at New Knowledge], advised consumer restraint as the first line of defense, especially when encountering information that any passably intelligent person could guess might have been placed by a group seeking to manufacture discord.

“They’re preying on your confirmation bias,” she said. “When content is being pushed to you, that’s something that you want to see. So, take the extra second to do the fact-check, even if it confirms your worst impulses about something you absolutely hate — before you hit the retweet button, before you hit the share button, just take the extra second.”

A tad of good-ish news, though. Facebook has just taken down four accounts created by Iran and Russia, built to produce fake news and create distrust and fear among us.

We shouldn’t need Facebook’s help to deny foreign attacks on our open society. All we need is this simple lesson in how to read the news for facts.

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