ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOX) - Just because a slick-looking article, video, or photo about COVID-19 crosses your social media feed, doesn't mean you should believe it.
"Misinformation has been around forever, it's just now it travels at the speed of light, and it's easy to share, " says Julie Smith, media literacy expert and instructor in the School of Communications at Webster University in St. Louis.
What are red flags that a post is a fraud? Smith says, if it triggers a strong emotional response, if you can't find the same information from any other legitimate source, or if the article fails to cite sources of information and images.
She says it often only takes a few minutes to do an internet search or reverse image search to determine whether the article is accurate, "these skills of discerning what's real and what's not online are absolutely necessary for democracy and for a healthy public."
You can hear more of Megan Lynch's interview with Smith above or check out Julie Smith's YouTube Channel for tutorials on vetting social media posts for accuracy.