How do you determine if something is true or false?
Do you decide based on who the person is that is telling you the information? Do you base your assumption on the type of information being conveyed? Do you just trust your gut instincts?
There is a Chinese proverb that might help illustrate this predicament:
If one person tells you there is a tiger roaming in your village, you can assume they are lying. If two people tell you, you begin to wonder. If three people say it's true, you're convinced there's a tiger roaming in your village and you run for your life.
While the proverb came about hundreds of years ago, it is probably more relevant than ever in our social media age. People will believe almost anything if enough people tell them it's true.
According to a post from ABC News (Calabrese - 5/29/2020), here are five ways to spot disinformation on social media:
1. Is this the original account, article, or piece of content?
2. Who shared or created the content?
3. When was the content created?
4. What account is sharing the content? When was the account created? Does the account share information from all over the world, at all times of the day? Could this be a bot?
5. Why was this content shared?
Applying the Who, What, Where, When, and Why questions to information you receive on your social media feeds, can help you prevent the spread of disinformation.
You can also use the many free online fact-checking tools to help determine the validity of the posts you question.
However, the vast majority of disinformation can be dismissed by asking, "Is this real?" and spending a few minutes doing a little online research to decide if it is true.
Please leave me a comment about how you make a decision regarding the truth of the information you receive on your social media feeds.
Author & Motivational Speaker
Terry is a sought after speaker who believes in the power of a story to motivate, inspire, and help others lead their uncommon and extraordinary lives. By combining his eleven-year cancer journey with his diverse business, athletic coaching, and hostage negotiating expertise, he delivers compelling yet relatable presentations for conferences, on-line events, panels, meetings, and seminars.