Misinformation, a fight against fake news

06-12-2020

We need to distinguish two terms in fake news. Misinformation and disinformation. That one consonant makes a difference. They both mean false information, but the latter is set to deliberately mislead.

People doing their own research online will easily fall into a web of deception. So it’s hard to combat fake news. As it goes viral really quick. And keeps spreading itself for quite some time, even when the story is debunked several times already.

Fake news uses 4 easy-to-detect techniques:

  1. Oversimplification of the facts, providing you with a simple answer because that is what you are looking for.
  2. Giving you what you need, and creating hope for this injustice.
  3. Finding someone else to blame, because there always needs to be a scapegoat! A problem this big, can’t have such a piddling cause.
  4. Giving in to emotions, spreading fear, and using it to spread the message.

So what can you do? Always be skeptical. And find if one of the 4 techniques above is being used. I believe we have a moral obligation to participate in the conversation. Especially when you are able to present supporting evidence. So research other sources that confirm or disprove the message. But be aware of getting trapped. Once the online algorithms understand what you like to read, they’ll present you with more crap than you can handle.

How do you know what is true? That’s not easy. Always try to fact check. But when in doubt, follow the consensus. When a large group of experts agrees. It’s probably because they are right.

#disinformation #factcheck #fakenews #misinformation #propaganda #socialmedia

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