In recent years, U.S. Sen. Angus King, a second-term Maine independent, has said frequently that American voters need be more wary of what they see online.

With more care, he said, they will not fall prey easily to trickery and deceit.

That advice is just as true for anonymous posts by apparently local pot-stirrers as it is for the targeted efforts of Russian intelligence agents in presidential politics.

So how can a conscientious voter try to weed through the morass of social media and avoid getting fooled?

One key is to pay attention to who is posting something and where they got their information. Take some time to figure out if it’s true.

Most people know which of their own friends are apt to share reliable facts, for instance, and most also know that oddball sources are far less likely to be accurate than institutions with reputations to protect.

A post from something that emerges out of nowhere on social media ought to be treated skeptically until proven reliable. That a Facebook page doesn’t have a person as its public face is a major clue that something might be amiss.

The fundamental problem with a source such as Lewiston Undivided is that it’s impossible to tell what it’s really all about.

What that often means, especially on social media, is that it’s not what it says it is.

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