Dangers of Fake News in the Spotlight after D.C. Gun Scare

WASHINGTON D.C. -- A North Carolina man is now at the center of a national controversy about fake news.

Washington D.C. police say 28-year-old Salisbury resident, Edgar Welch was trying to take matters into his own hands and investigate "Pizzagate," a false story on social media involving Hillary Clinton, a child trafficking ring and a pizzeria.

“No, it doesn't surprise me because I have seen bright people post information that clearly is, is not true if you're looking at it from a different perspective,” professor of psychological science at UNC Charlotte Anita Blanchard said.

The Pizzagate story has been going around on social media, but there hasn’t been any evidence that it’s true.

Blanchard said often, the first warning sign of a fake story is something that appeals to your emotions.

“If you see something that is too outrageous, that really works you up, make sure that that's the truth,” she said.

On Facebook, you can now report articles like that to help stop the spread of lies.

Blanchard told us another way is to stop clicking on fake websites.

“Positive reinforcement is the money so take the money away from them,” she said. “It'll take a while for them to "extinguish the behavior," that's the phrase for it, but if they aren't making money off of it, they're going to do it.”

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