But in today's 24 hour news cycle and social media all of the news is suspect and much of what is generated lacks veracity and trust. But we are apparently too busy to question the content and just re-tweet and move on. But, like the old west, people are being harmed by bias, lies, and most troubling is the fact that much of the misinformation is coming from the top leadership in our government. And the social media giants are complicit citing the first amendment rights. Yelling "fire" in a theater when there is none is not consistent with the first amendment and neither is this blatant content. To be fair there are some sources that try to provide an accurate news profile but they are drowned out by robots and sometimes hateful people.
With over 60 % of the population getting their news on social media we are in a real danger to our democracy. What can be done to change this dynamic? Unfortunately very little other than regulation by Congress but that would be a thorny proposition. They are afraid to go against the executive branch and could never decide to throttle the constant mistrust coming from the top. My short answer is to stop relying on the vitriol being generated and think seriously about what we read. But that is somewhat unrealistic as we are in a tribal and divided country. As long as we are not willing to test the news currently on social media and the newspapers, we will have to accept the consequences. Even when the news source leans left or right we don't have to lean toward either extreme. It's up to us to monitor what we read.