Telling Misinformation Apart From Facts
Information disorder has become such a big problem within the democratic system because it is so effective. It thrives on people who believe in the so-called information being shared and propagating said information online.
We can all play a part as considered citizens by breaking the chain of the misinformation pandemic, in order to make Malaysia’s democracy one that functions on facts and rational decision-making, not on misinformation, anger, and distrust.
Steps To Tell Apart Misinformation From Facts
Always Be Weary
Remember that in the age of social media, anyone can publish content and pass it off as fact. While the internet age has democratised the sharing of information, it has also made it easier than ever to miselead the public. So always ask yourself: “Is this true? Or is this "information" actually misinformation?”
Examine The Source
Keep in mind the source of the information being presented. Does it come from a reputable channel such as a news organisation? You should also be mindful of pages or accounts which pretend to be reputable organisation.
If in doubt, you should always try to reverse search for the same content to see if a different reputable source has reported the same content.
Understand The Content
You should try to understand the content being presented and think about the purpose of such content being published, especially if it seems to be promoting one viewpoint at the expense of another. While biases are always present in reportage, true journalism strives to be as neutral as possible and should stick to only presenting facts.
Investigate The Content
Try and extend your research on the topic presented wider than just the current content. See if other organisations are reporting the issue in the same manner. You may find that the content created is done for a specific purpose while other content publishers may have only reported the strict facts.
Come to a conclusion on the veracity or authenticity of the content. If at any time, you feel that the content may be harmful or untrue, DO NOT RESHARE! While you may be able to tell fact from fiction, many other people may not and therefore it is important that you stem the tide of misinformation as soon as you can.