In this election,
check it before you share it.

On September 24, 2018New Brunswickers will head to the polls to elect the next provincial government.

 

Elections New Brunswick is encouraging New Brunswickers to be mindful of what they see on social media and on the Internet in general. Maybe you’re familiar with the idea of satire or fake news online – but in some cases it can be tough to spot.

 

Read on to understand more about “fake news”, to learn how to spot it, and to check around to confirm the information you read before you share it.

Fake news: Really?
No, not really.

Fake news is “news” that has been made up. People who create it may have a political agenda and use their media platform to influence others. Other people who create it are simply looking for clicks or ad revenue.

 

What makes it even more damaging is that “fake news” can look very real or plausible – and if it aligns with people’s personal beliefs or biases, people may then share the information without taking the time to ask themselves, “Is this information real?”

 

While today fake news has become associated with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, it isn’t restricted to social media. However, social media has made it easier than ever for false information to be shared quickly and to a vast audience.

Check it before you share it

Nobody wants to feel duped or learn they’ve been spreading false information. That’s why when you see something a little “unbelievable” on your social media feeds – it’s best to check it before you share it.

 

So step away from that share button, take a moment to consider what you’re seeing, and dig a little deeper. Here are some helpful tips compiled by the International Federation of Library Associations that you can use to identify real news and the fakes:

 

  • Consider the source – Ask yourself: Is the news from a legitimate media organization that you’ve heard of before? Try exploring more of their website. Check their “Contact Us” page. Do they list a physical location, and if the email addresses are listed, are they professional? Legitimate organizations don’t use Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo addresses.
  • Is it a joke? – Satirical websites will usually identify themselves as such, but not always. If most or all of the news stories on the website seem outrageous, over-the-top or intentionally humorous, it’s likely satire.
  • Read beyond the headline – Headlines are intended to attract attention, not tell the whole story. Some fake news stories, especially satire, can be easily identified with a quick read through the article. For example, if a news story quotes “Joe New Brunswick” as a source, it’s safe to assume it is satire.
  • Check the byline – Is the author a real person or does their name sound fake? Some fake news stories won’t even have a byline at all.
  • Check the support – Look up the story’s sources. Do they have anything to do with the story and do they support the content? Legitimate news stories cite credible sources. Some fake news stories will cite bogus sources, or real sources that have nothing to do with the story, under the assumption that most people won’t bother to check them.
  • Check the date – Some fake news stories aren’t entirely false. Instead, they piggyback on legitimate news from several years ago, twisting it to support their own agenda. Real news stories should be, well, new.
  • Check your biases – Confirmation bias leads people to believe information that supports their own views, and to disregard things that don’t. Though it can be difficult to put aside your biases, a potentially fake news story that reinforces your own viewpoint still needs rational consideration. Try checking the other stories posted to the same website – do they seem trustworthy?

Elections NB is your source
for voting information

Remember: Elections NB is your trusted source for voter information in New Brunswick. This includes information such as your riding, information you must present to be added to the voters list, and when and where you can vote.

 

Elections NB has official Facebook and Twitter accounts to find official information. We also print and mail advertisements and Voter Information Cards to every household.

 

To make sure you’re up to date with important election details, check out the information below:

Where do I vote?

If you received a Voter Information Card in the mail at your current address, and the name and address information on it is correct, you may vote at one of the locations shown on the back of the card.

 

You also have the option to vote using a special ballot. You can do so by visiting any returning office in N.B. anytime during their normal hours of operation until 8 p.m. on Election Day. You may also apply for a special ballot to be sent to you by mail by contacting your returning office. You do not have to provide a reason to vote by special ballot.

 

You can also search for this information here.

What do I need to vote?

First-time voters who are not on the voters list and who meet the qualifications to vote are required to bring identification to be added to the list. You must provide one or more pieces of ID showing your name, current address, and signature (a driver’s license contains all three and is the ideal piece of ID). Other options include: lease agreements, utility bills, student IDs, or having a friend already on the voters list vouch for your residency.

 

If you are already on the voters list, you will receive a Voter Information Card in the mail before the election with the address of your polling station, as well as the dates and times of advance and ordinary polling. Anyone already on the voters list is not required to bring identification to vote in a New Brunswick provincial or municipal election; you must instead state your name and address to the election official.

©️ ElectionsNB  www.electionsnb.ca