Fake information is everywhere, and I know it’s hard to see straight when we are being bombarded with the latest tragedies, but it’s really important we put checks on ourselves, so we don’t add to the problem.
This is just a short blog today explaining what I do to cross-check.
- Know when and where the event hit – for example, a video of flooding in Saudi Arabia has been falsely used to show when the flood hit Derna in Libya, but that flood happened at night, when everyone was sleeping. The Saudi one was in the daytime
- If you see something new and it’s your first encounter with an event, go to YouTube and search for other videos of it. Also check mainstream news sites, which typically pick up the big stories quickly. If there is nothing, the chances are it’s not true, but keep an eye on it throughout the day and if it is true, the mainstream media will do the checks required. The typhoon showed here was shared with me and apparently it is hitting the Philippines as we speak. This is false.
- Early extreme weather event videos are usually shot from only one perspective – e.g. someone with a phone on a balcony capturing what they are seeing. It can take days, even weeks for videos with multiple angles of the event – so another good way to know you’re seeing false information.
It’s easy to get caught out, but if you just take a few extra steps, you’ll be helping to not share misinformation, and I know no one wants to share false news.
This channel, France 24 English, does a good job flagging fake news.
Got any other tips you use? Leave a comment and let me know!
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Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
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