The nation was taken aback early in the morning on Nov. 9 by the surprise win of Republican candidate Donald Trump for the 2016 Presidential Election. According to the New York Times, only nine out of 94 polls conducted in conjunction with the publication accurately predicted a Trump victory, making it a 10 percent probability of winning. Trump defied mathematicians and big data analysts by accumulating 290 electoral votes to Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 232, even though Clinton was projected at an 84 percent chance of victory the day prior to the election, according to the New York Times.
While many debate the validity and use of the electoral college, Clinton did manage to win the popular vote, accruing 61,329,657 votes to Trump’s 60,530,867 as of Nov. 15, according to CNN. However, if you were on social media as much as we were in the past week, you likely saw shared images from news sources such as 70 News and USA Supreme, claiming that Trump won both the popular and electoral votes.
Unfortunately, for those looking to impress their friends with “factual” political numbers, these allegations were proven false, according to The Washington Post, who added, “If you also see an article from a random site you’ve never heard of? I might recommend you take its numbers with a grain of salt.”
As with everything on the internet that pertains to a sensational topic, such as the 2016 Election, it is best for one to do research into the facts rather than simply clicking that “share” button and facing the wrath of many “politically-minded” individuals that have their “two cents” to offer.
Although many of us have fallen victim to these seemingly believable pictures and wall posts, it is always necessary to go back to the source that you found something, which is a common occurrence here in the news room. By googling “70 News,” which supposedly broke the news that Clinton lost the popular vote by 700,000 votes, one can find that the news source is a conservative-leaning WordPress page that works as more of a propaganda machine than a news source. Similarly, USA Supreme utilizes click-baiting to capture the reader’s attention without having any factual research to back up their politically biased pieces.
As we face the ever-present reality of the Trump presidency, it is important to understand the proper intentions of the media and the necessity to differentiate factual pieces from biased propaganda, regardless of if it leans toward the Republican or Democratic party. So, before you go and share that politically-charged picture with a plethora of believable facts that back your political stance, do your research.
You’ll thank us later.