Fact checking – how to not get in trouble using social media
You do not want to be in trouble? The best thing is not getting into trouble in the first place. Yes, I know it sounds too simple. It wasn’t until very recently I re-posted/ shared something on Facebook what I thought was interesting that made me think a little harder about doing that in the future.
It wasn’t even anything bad or offensive – not my thing anyway. I like provoking and inspiring thoughts, but not with the purpose of trying to be hurtful. The info I shared had just been plain incorrect. It sounded really cool and useful; one was about e.g. how to know where food / products come from based on the barcode label. A good friend later happened to point out that this was most likely incorrect.
If it’s on the Internet it must be true, right? I cranked up a good old Internet search and voila: WRONG. The info was just either inconclusive or plain wrong; either way I should not have shared it any further. Lesson learned. I should have spent the extra minute to look this up before mindlessly sharing it.
This is how viral Internet myths get started. Do you want to have any part of it? I am checking out of that option. Yes, it takes a little more effort and you need to take another step of looking up the Internet. It may not be all true, but looking a little deeper at a given subject matter is easy enough though. It’s really easy sending junk and spam along, but eventually people will no longer pay attention to you and that would be the least amount of trouble you can get into.
PS: Here is an interesting blog post by Howard Sundwall on JGI syndrome.