You are Responsible! Fact-Check Before You Share on Social Media

You are Responsible! Fact-Check Before You Share on Social Media

Dear Christian friends,

Don’t fall for the stuff floating around social media that is deliberately created to make Christians look gullible.

One example popped up yet again on Facebook as recently as December 2023. A particular meme has been making the rounds for at least the past ten years. A graphic of Santa kneeling by the manger. Attached to that meme is a strident protest – “Facebook will no longer allow this graphic to be posted; share this while you can.”

It is simply not true. Think about it: if you see that meme everywhere, being shared by everyone, and it’s still on Facebook, doesn’t that tell you it’s not being censored? The key phrase here is, “Think about it.” Use rational thought. Another such post makes the rounds every few months, urging you to share this with all your friends. It states that Meta will ban all posts sharing the Our Father on their platform. This post has been floating around for as long as the Santa meme.

As a side note, creating a fake ‘graphic content warning’ animation screen over a ‘Christian meme’ to look like an actual Meta/Facebook content warning is easy. Anyone with a subscription to a graphic generator can create such a graphic in a couple of minutes.

Why on earth would someone do that? I have a couple of theories. Unfortunately, I have witnessed both scenarios on several social media outlets.

1. The poster hopes to catch individuals who mindlessly pass along these sorts of ‘angry’ urban myths to prove to others that Christians don’t fact-check before they share. When we have something of truth to share, they justify dismissing truth because of our supposed gullibility, proven by our passing on false information.

2. The poster desires to be perceived as a victim of censorship and deliberately deceives its audience, hoping to draw in an angry crowd ready to champion their cause.

Yes, real censorship is out there; let’s not get into that discussion here, please. That is NOT the theme of this blog.

Stop sharing Memes without checking the facts. And don’t excuse the omission of fact-checking by commenting, “Well, you never know, so I thought I would just pass it on…”

Is there real censorship on Facebook and Instagram? Of course, there is. Does Meta have an extreme political bias? Of course, it does!

However, once again, this blog is about something else.

Here are some areas that are not deliberate censorship but are simply Meta’s business practices.

Meta is increasingly blocking views of shared YouTube videos. Why? YouTube is their rival. You’ve probably noticed that content creators are sharing the link to their article or video in the first comment of a graphic of that content. Why? To bypass Meta’s throttling of views of shared links to videos created outside of Facebook. They are also throttling views of any links you share that might be from a blog or website outside of Facebook/Meta. Why? They also see websites and blogs as rivals and are trying to force content creators to post directly on Facebook.

I won’t go into details here, but content creators of all genres on Facebook are also experiencing similar problems. Many monetized creators are not receiving the ad revenue Facebook promised them. Again, it has nothing to do with censorship; it’s the almighty dollar.

Recently, Meta has been clashing with news agencies in other nations than the United States. We, as Canadians, can no longer see any news articles shared on Facebook. Facebook thinks they should be able to make money off shared news articles without needing to give those agencies a share of the profit, and media outlets disagree.

Here are a few Bible verses to ponder as you navigate the Social Media world.

Titus 3:9-11
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

2 Timothy 2:22-24
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. They have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.

Until next week,

©2023 Katherine Walden