LANSING, MI. (WILX) Fake news stories about the massacre have been spreading across social media all week. So how do we know what's real -- and what's not?
Fake news graphic by MGN.
News 10's Marcus Dash paid a visit to a fake news class at Michigan State University to get some answers.
Ann, when breaking news hits social media, it can be very hard to filter out the truth.
Assistant professor of journalism doctor Rachel Mourao tells me people must question everything before sharing and spreading information.
"On social media you can get high quality news from credible sources but also really poor quality news and they all look the same. "
Mourao says a lot of the stories people get hooked on and share on facebook usually fit their preexisting beliefs and most of the time when that happens, the stories they share are misinformation, so she stresses to her class to question everything.
"If you see something that is too good to be true a perfect for what you believe and you are dying to share it take a step back and think about it, where did this come from who reported it, what is the other side how can we know about this."
Facebook has come under the gun in recent days according to forbes it directed people to more false reports than true reports in their trending topics and safety check pages, but Mourao says facebook was never created to do journalism
"The problem is people dont understand that these platforms reward popularity not quality just because something is at the top of the newsfeed doesnt mean it is good and trustworthy."
Her goal for her students and fellow consumers of media is a simple task of thinking twice before sharing something and taking action when they see fake news.
"Think about how can I empower people to stop misinformation when they see it and thatll be a success"
If you spot something on facebook that you think is fake news--- just click on the gray drop down arrow on the post and report it as a false news story. The post will then be reviewed by fact checkers.