With another US election coming up, it has once again been confirmed that foreign entities are trying to sway the voting. In the 2016 election season, they did so by using fake social media profiles, news sites, and other strategies to feed information to certain demographics.
While this is certainly more sinister, we are going through this all the time. Because our online history is ever-present when we use the internet, we get fed only the news that corresponds to how we already think. So, if you are liberal, you see liberal news. If you are conservative, you see conservative news. Either way, you are getting a biased perspective on what’s happening in the world.
But how do you avoid this? It’s difficult to rewire your brain to trust anything other than the sources you already get your news from. And how do you get out of the echo chamber imposed on you by social media and targeted advertising? Here is how to stop getting biased news.
Avoid news on social media
Many people now get all their news on social media. Unfortunately, the reality is that because of advertising, social media sites are incentivized to keep you in a clearly defined box. Furthermore, the people you are friends with are likely to post links to news sources that fit into your preconceived notions.
This is why you should avoid news on social media altogether. If you see a subject or news story that interests you, find sources elsewhere. Such as…
Ground News is an app that shows you all the biggest news of the day, providing access to multiple sources. It will show you where on the political spectrum these sources tend to fall, and you can ensure you get multiple perspectives on the same story.
For example, you may want to know about a protest going on in your city. Politics will inform the way it is reported. Ground News will show you diverse sources, from CNN to Fox News and everything in between. This way, you can discern who is most likely to give you a biased perspective – far right and far left sources – and who is most likely to take the middle ground. You can read all of them, and make your mind up for yourself.
But even an app like this will not show you everything going on in the world, or even the country. If you want to search for news online without getting biased results, do the following.
Use a VPN
A VPN is essentially necessary for security purposes. It keeps your data safe and out of the hands of identity thieves and governments. However, it serves an additional purpose of setting a level playing field.
If you turn on your VPN and open up an incognito tab, you will get results that are not geared towards your clicks and engagement. It might be more of a mess than you are used to – with sites you’d usually avoid for good reasons turning up. But you can make your mind up for yourself.
Click through to www.vpnpros.com for more on the best VPNs. A good VPN is essential for security as well as for keeping your perspective unbiased. If you are in a location where news is censored, you can even get access to what the government doesn’t want you to see.
Getting unbiased news is difficult but not impossible. The next step will be learning to identify your own biases, and avoiding making conclusions before doing the research.