We are living in an age of information overload. It can be overwhelming these days to research a topic and analyze information. Apart from the excess data to digest, you have people/users reading half baked posts on social platforms and spewing misinformation (false or inaccurate information).
As if misinformation wasn’t enough, you also have to increasingly deal with disinformation. While misinformation may not have an intent of deception, disinformation refers to false information which is intended to mislead or deceive.
If you think you cannot be manipulated on social media, you could go through this article “A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation” published by BuzzFeed news, which talks about how heads of government and political parties are using fake accounts or misrepresenting themselves to sway public opinion!
Teach yourself some “verification” skills!
I happened to come across this website called datajournalism.com, where they have these “verification handbooks” that help you gain research and fact-checking skills.
- Verification Handbook - For Disinformation And Media Manipulation
- Verification Handbook - For Investigative Reporting
- Verification Handbook - Verifying Digital Content For Emergency Coverage
I clicked on each book and skimmed through the chapters. The books seem to be very interesting. I can’t wait to dive into these books. However, the chapters seem to go deep and I am guessing reading may not be enough. Active practice may be necessary to truly imbibe what is written.
Well, I think these are really handy skills to develop, considering how the internet is increasingly beginning to invade and shape our lives!