A decade ago, we elected our first “social media politicians,” and we had hope that the internet would enable more accountability, openness, and trust in government. What many did not expect was the amount of misinformation that would spread as the internet democratized information and knowledge. Here are five things you can do to fight misinformation and counter its influence.
1. Spot misinformation and the motives behind it.
In today’s media climate, it’s becoming harder and harder to tell what’s real and what isn’t. We’re bombarded daily with (mis)information that’s trying to change the way we think about our government, our leaders, and even each other. We invite you to watch Mozilla’s original documentary short, Misinfo Nation: Misinformation, Democracy, and the Internet. Find out how to spot misinformation and seek out the truth.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFmUbVR7VSo
2. Get educated on election meddling.
Election interference has been happening for centuries, but the misinformation spread online adds a new level of meddling opportunity. In the Season 3 finale of the IRL podcast, Veronica Belmont explores how social media campaigns, online propaganda, and data mining are all racing to impact the way we vote. Have a listen:
3. Keep Facebook off your trail.
Facebook lets political advertisers target you with content — information and misinformation — by tracking your activity on and off their platform.
Firefox’s new U.S. Election bundle makes it easier to explore the Web without Facebook watching, and also enables you to participate in ProPublica’s effort to flag misinformation. It’s a win-win for you and the Web.
4. Learn why we’re all susceptible.
Writer and cultural critic Baratunde Thurton argues that because credible publications are given the same weight as non-credible publications online, we need to be more diligent to identify what is true.https://youtu.be/3FIVXBawyQw
While it may seem like we’re living in a world divided, the truth is out there. And we all have the ability to vote, based upon it. Make sure you’re registered.