“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
is the famous aphorism taken from the book of the apostle John that says so much about today’s world condition in combating lies. In this century when everyone has their own cents to share and has a screen to look at, the world is subjected to get binded by false truth and get casted into a dungeon of mendacity.
I recently shared wikipedia’s list of fake news sites through this blog and as I wrote there, its validity will solely depends on your jugdment, guided by your own research and fact-finding. In this post, I would like to encourage everyone by saying that we can shed light in parts where the view of the world is so dark. And it is by knowing the truth and sharing it to all.
I listed simple etiquettes and practices that can help everyone to stop (or at least lessen) the invasion of lies (fake news). So everyone can be a fake news busters!
Research, research, research. Everytime we read news from newspapers or watch it from tv and encounter vague information, learn to be critical by asking questions and finding the answers for yourself by doing research. Researching has done tremendous positive changes to the world for the past centuries and it will still do today.
Know your source. Even though google can provide all kinds of information, it doesn’t mean all the information is correct. When researching, it is a-must to know your source. Is he an officer-in-charge? Is she an expert? Is the person can be trusted? A historian? A doctor? And so on. Just a quick analogy, you shouldn’t listen to monkey to learn great swimming techniques and know more about the ocean, you should listen to dolphins instead, if you know what I mean.
Validate your findings. Everytime an event happened, there are numerous factual stories that will come-up after. Validate your facts by collating all information from trusted and reliable sources. Read as much as possible before presenting or sharing. This is the best practice to lessen failed assumptions because you know the whole story. Stop assuming.
Do not share unless you have the proof of the claim. You wouldn’t win in a fair court if you just state what you believed in or by being opinionated because receipts should always be presented with your convictions. Many failed in healthy arguments just by sharing hasty generalizations. Always remember that receipts are always needed for validation (specially for parking cars).
Funny memes are just for laugh. Let’s accept it. Memes has been number one like-catcher on social media sites. Pictures and statements intended for pun that are generally not true and can somehow misled gullible readers. Once you see a meme, its not bad to laugh at it, but before sharing it, please validate it first using etiquette 1 and 2.
Put a disclaimer. This is just simple. If you cant control the share, you can definitely control the thoughts. If you know you’re not sure with the validity of what you’re sharing, be willing to put a “no-brainer” disclaimer. In this way, readers will be aware that what they seeing or reading is unverified. It is also a chance for them to do the research and validation for you.
Being informative is different than being gullible. One of the grave mistakes I noticed from people in social media is how they share stories based on headlines. Why they shared? Because they did not read. Headlines are not written to tell the whole story specially to complicated situations where information is vague. There are headlines that are just written to mislead more audiences and make profit out of it.
And lastly honor your doubt. If you’re not sure or doubtful of what you’re sharing, then don’t share it. Afterall, anything that does not come from faith is sin alone, how much more sharing it?
“You can start doing these practices moving forward, share it with your friends and together, let us all stay awesome.”