A recent View From Away (“Social media brings out worst in us,” Jan. 5) hit the proverbial nail right on the head. Internet-based social media outlets, if used properly, are extremely beneficial to building and fostering positive relationships and sharing information among family and friends. However, if used for malicious purposes, the media sites can be highly destructive and divisive.

A large percentage of the population is very naive when it comes to watching, listening to, and reading what’s available on social media. They unconditionally believe what they see without researching the facts and questioning the truth and validity of the information.

Printed words and videos can be easily fabricated to look real or to convey what is not true. This makes people extremely susceptible to disinformation, deception, and outright lies to support someone else’s agenda.

As Joseph Goebbels of Nazi Germany said, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” Don’t be someone else’s puppet. Be critical thinkers and don’t always believe what you read or see on social media. Check your facts from multiple, legitimate sources — not just social media.

Dennis Lovejoy

Fairborn, Ohio

(formerly of Augusta)

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