MILWAUKEE — When it comes to the Israel-Hamas War, there is a flood of images and reports with people pointing blame at the other side. The sheer amount of information makes it hard for people to separate fact from fiction. Experts warn there is no easy solution.
Wednesday morning, NBC’s The Today Show led with the bombing of the hospital in Gaza and the different narratives being put out on all aides.
"Hundreds killed in a huge blast at a hospital. Hamas immediately blaming Israel for that attack. Israel said the explosion was caused by a misfired rocket by a different terrorist group known as Islamic Jihad,” said Savannah Guthrie as she led off the show.
Even President Biden weighed in. While he was visiting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he agreed with Israel's version of the attack.
"It appears as though it was done by the other team,” said Biden.
Experts warn, in cases like this it is difficult to know what is accurate because journalists are not allowed to go into Gaza right now, so they cannot verify the claims being made firsthand.
So who should you believe?
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Communications professor Michael Mirer says especially in a war, everything should be given a second look.
"The parties to the war have incentives to shape narratives that are more fitting to their side of things. Both, if you are on the Israel side or the Palestine side, you have a political context in which you are communicating and therefore creating public groundswells one way or the other,” said Mirer.
According to George Washington University's Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics, it is also becoming harder for researchers to track misinformation in this conflict. Researchers have flagged many social media accounts pushing a coordinated disinformation campaign.
Greg Borowski, executive editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who sits on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, says especially when it comes to war, patience is important before assuming something is true.
"To really look at the source of the information, not just the news outlet, but who is telling the news outlet that information. If you are seeing something online that is in your feed that gets to be a little more dangerous because the way the world works now anybody can put out anything. You can doctor a photo, you can twist some facts because it will play to the emotions or the politics of something and that is really a dangerous spot if you don't pause and reflect on where it is coming from,” said Borowski.
Mirer says his advice to people, especially in this conflict, is not to rely on social media as a source of news. He also says to pause before you share or retweet anything you see, so you aren't adding to the incorrect information out there.