In another post I shared 9 strategies for responsible social media posting and sharing. Here are the online resources that I used and some others for you to check out.
Mr. Sigars blog post isn’t so much about how but about why it’s important to post responsibly. I include it here because the situation he describes was part of what prompted me to address this problem. He wrote,
we end up living in a world in which casual truth and lies exist in the same moment and we’re too overwhelmed and busy to figure it out. We believe what we want, and disbelieve the rest, and now that I think about it, this is exactly the world we live in. Never mind.
One tip is-
Pay attention to quality and timeliness.
Be the weak link-you may be unknowingly contributing to the spread of false information forwarding anything and everything you receive.
THINK before you post or share.
Why would we believe unfounded and sensational claims and theories about people and events that could be easily explained otherwise?
They help us make sense of and manage threats. Most pieces of misinformation address things we fear (diseases, kidnapping, murder, mysterious creatures, crime, etc.). We often don’t fully understand these threats, so we use misinformation to make sense of them and to cope with our fears.
Remember that the creators of disinformation purposely make content that is designed to trigger an emotional response,
so if you find yourself having those reactions, please pause and consider the questions listed in the article.
The SIFT method described by this digital literacy expert can be used with any information, not just about coronavirus-Stop, Investigate, Find, Trace.
Manmouth University sponsors this website dedicated to Media Literacy . The site offers advice on
- how to choose a news source
- how to fact check
- how to image check
- how to check your own bias
- how misinformation spreads
- how to evaluate sources
- conspiracy theories
“The problem is not that some people might believe something that’s not true. The problem is that most people might stop caring if anything is true.”Siva Vaidhyanathan, Director, University of Virginia Center for Media & Citizenship
Try these tips now while reading-
Use these resources to evaluate this blog post by Dr. Gretchen LaSalle. Whatever you already think about vaccines, microchips, and Bill Gates, identify your own bias, then objectively consider what she says. Fact check her references, think critically, consider all sides, identify your emotional reaction.
And if you choose to share the post, consider using the strategies I suggested in my previous post.
People use fear to motivate and manipulate. Using phrases like “they don’t want you to see this”, “share before they remove it ”, and words like racist, fascist, communist, conspiracy, censored, socialist, control, right, left, etc. imply an urgency that usually isn’t realistic or rational. Sharing verifiable information allows your friends to draw their own conclusions based on fact not fear.
But if we have learned anything in the Internet Era, it is this… We can’t always believe what we read. Even legitimate news outlets get it wrong sometimes and people have agendas which can color how they report “the news”. Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it’s time consuming. But we HAVE to do the work of researching these claims to make sure we are not part of the problem in spreading falsehoods and misinformation.Gretchen LaSalle, M.D.
exploring the HEART of health on social media
I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.
I appreciate your commitment for making social media a safer, more valuable, and healthier place to connect and share what we know and what we feel. In this time of social distancing, the digital world can be a valuable source of connection if used responsibly. Thank you for joining me .