In this day of social media, and the ease of instantly sharing information with the click of a button, I find it important to suggest that people check the facts before sharing errors.
Catchy graphics, and headlines grab our attention. If the subject is something we have strong feelings about (good or bad) we are likely to read it. Sometimes we are so moved by the information we feel the need to “share” it with our friends/contacts/network/followers/etc. Sometimes that information is inaccurate.
What? There is misinformation, or fake news, on the World Wide Web? Say it isn’t so!
Unfortunately, it’s true. Sometimes you will see a post about a person (especially a veteran, disabled person, or child), with a plea to “share” the information to help that person. Do your research. Often times, this is a phishing ploy and anyone who shares the post is caught in the web. Sometimes they are legitimate, just be sure to check before you share.
Political posts. Yeah, there is false information all over the place about politics. If you feel strongly enough about the topic that you want to share the information, do your research. Be sure the information is correct before you share.
Outdated posts. It amazes me how old news becomes new just because someone shares it on social media. When you read an article, look at the date it was written. Yes, sometimes old news is worth sharing again, but when you do share it make sure you let people know its old news. Often people will glance at it and share it, thus presenting it as current information, which is irresponsible.
Commemoration days. This is a big one. Someone will see a post that states “It’s (fill in the blank) day! Share in honor of ___________.” But, it’s not the correct day to commemorate that particular event/medical issue/etc. One person shares it, their friends see it and share it, and the next thing you know, the country thinks its Valentine’s Day in June. I know, that’s a bit of an obvious exaggeration, but you get the idea.
I’m sure none of us intentionally share misinformation. I just happen to notice it quite a bit and thought I would bring it up. Do your research. Be sure the information is correct before you share. Please refrain from sharing errors.