A couple of weeks ago the Washington Post published a story about a popular Facebook page called “Heart of Texas.”
Over the course of 2016 and 2017 the page grew into one of the most highly trafficked Texas secession pages on Facebook. At one point it had more followers than the official Texas Democrat and Republican pages combined.
There was no contact information on the page and no individuals who identified themselves as leading the movement. The page was not real. It was a Russian front and Facebook pulled it down, the post reported.
Bob Schieffer, the former Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter and Face the Nation anchor, was in Fort Worth this week to talk about his new book “Overload.”
He will tell you to be skeptical of what you see online. Vet your news sources. Don’t take anything for granted.
Those behind Heart of Texas page exploited our gullibility. Russian influence has already hit Texas. It’s likely that some entity, somewhere, will try again.
Once the news gets out – right or wrong – it’s almost impossible to remove. Research your sources, find their “about us” pages. See if you can communicate with them, either by phone or email. Familiarize yourself with reporters.
Schieffer, who spoke at TCU on Thursday and at the Fort Worth Club during a Rotary Club of Fort Worth lunch on Friday, noted that curated news is a thing of the past for many people.
As you now choose your own daily news diet, please do so wisely.