Woman in face mask voting

As election night nears, candidates are campaigning harder than ever in Georgia. Many of them have tapped into the same strategy: pointing out their opponents' falsehoods.

Senator David Perdue and democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, for example, have both released ads that accuse the other of lying on the campaign trail. In the jungle race for Georgia's second senator seat, the mud slinging has been between republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and one of her 19 challengers, republican Congressman Doug Collins. Politifact has tracked the claims each of them has made, and whether they are based in fact.

With so many claims, making an informed decision is no easy task this year. Dr. David Schweidel is a professor at Emory University, who fears many voters may be misinformed. "Social media is where most people are getting their news," he explains.

Political posts are rampant on social media, making it difficult to decipher between fact and fiction in your newsfeed.

"People choose the facts that they want and sadly that’s the world that we live in now," said Schweidel.

CBS46 Reporter Adam Murphy put that to the test, by asking voters whether they trust what they read on social media when it comes to the election. "No, I don't trust it. I do not. Now I do take it into consideration," said one Atlanta voter, Brittney Elkins.

"There's so many things going around, you just don't know," added Crystal Allison.

CBS46 looked into some of the falsehoods being spread on social media this election season. Earlier this year, President Trump made headlines when he stated that phony ballots were printed without his name on it. Politifact determined that to be mostly false. The truth is that about 2,000 ballots in Los Angeles skipped the presidential race entirely, impacting both candidates.

Another story circulating Facebook says "if [democratic presidential nominee Joe] Biden becomes president and cannot complete his term, [democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala] Harris will become president and [speaker of the house Nancy] Pelosi will become vice president." Politifact found this statement to be false, citing the 25th amendment of the constitution, which states under those circumstances, the new president would nominate a vice president who would then be confirmed by both houses of congress.

Another falsehood stated on the campaign trail: former vice president Joe Biden said the senate republicans' move to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in an election year is not constitutional. Again, Politifact deemed this claim false, based on article two of the Constitution.

Experts like Dr. Schweidel say when it comes to social media, take what you read with a grain of salt, and do your part to confirm what you read before you post it. "Assuming that what we're looking for is the truth, we can't just take the spin that we're given if it's something we might personally agree with. If we want the actual facts you've got to go back to that original source," he says.

When it comes to identifying misinformation on social media, users should check the date of the stories they read. If it is old, it is likely irrelevant. Users should also check to see if Facebook or Twitter have flagged the article as misleading, and double check the information with other trusted news sources.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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