I read it on social media, it must be true, right?

In the age of social media, misinformation is not hard to come by. If living through two years of the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important it is to have the right information.

Misinformation is when we unknowingly spread the wrong information. It could be mishearing or misremembering something that we then relay to other people. It could also include reading something false on social media and spreading it within your friend group. World Health Organization has labelled this as infodemic.

In a world where our main source of news and information is the internet, how can we prevent spreading misinformation?

Here are some tips:

Educate yourself

If you come across something on your social channels that you have no previous knowledge about, it’s always helpful to try and get further information on the subject through other sources before you start sharing what you’ve read. If you are unable to find other reputable sources to back what you’ve read on social media, the information you saw might not be true.

Use credible sources

When it comes to sharing information online, make sure to use credible sources. This includes any links, articles or videos that you share online.

Along with simply using credible sources, it’s also great practice to share those links when posting.

Correct your mistake as soon as possible

If you share something with someone and later discover that it had false information, make sure to inform everyone involved. Sometimes people may be relying on our information and correcting your error can save people’s time and energy as well as prevent further misinformation from being spread.

Guide others

If you come across someone spreading misinformation on social media, the best thing to do is talk to them. Have an open conversation with them and try to steer the conversation in the direction of the truth.

The fact is they might not have even realized they were spreading misinformation. So when having these conversations use sources to support what you’re saying to help guide them.

It might not seem like it, but misinformation can cause a lot of harm. However, with these tips, you can not only stop spreading misinformation yourself, but also combat the misinformation already out there.

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