How to travel clear from rumors and misinformation?

With the profound communication revolution of the current era, the question to ask ourselves is; do people spread point of views or misinformation without checking the credibility of the source during delicate situations? Most certainly they do, it may be a conscious decision to divide people or as a diversion or to raise their own point of view or for attention or to manipulate a situation to their advantage.

In a sensitive situation as the aftermath of the multiple terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, can be the ideal landscape to spread false information and opinions to the affected directly and indirectly. It’s pivotal that in such situations to take a step back and proceed with caution without been a victim of incorrect information or be apart of spreading the cancerous information. Here are 3 simple steps to minimize the superabundance of information to find out the real picture by judging the reliability of news.

  1. Evaluate the source, is it reputable?
    The person who you are receiving the information must be trustworthy and never forget to question the origin of the information.
  2. Is the source current with the mainstream media?
    Can the information you received be verified through reputable sources? If not it’s best kept to yourself than been shared with your network.
  3. Beware of the memes circulated on social media?
    Most social media updates that follow incidents like the bomb explosions at two churches in Sri Lanka or news like Sri Lanka imposes curfew after more than 150 killed in attacks can bombard the mainstream online media with misinformation.

You can always follow sources that are credible like BBC for information on such incidents avoiding showing a preference to channels that are less reputable. Keep in mind social media and search engines are algorithms that will filter information that you have shown a interest towards. So stay clear from all the news and rumors that goes viral on social media.

Please keep in mind the more accurate the rumor is the more dangerous it becomes since believable rumors call more buy-in and people who are exposed to the misinformation, and often damaging, part of the rumor will become the majority. Not all rumors are inherently bad, it’s better if we become a smart consumer of online news by evaluating the source, relevancy and timeliness of the information before we share it with someone else. There can be instances where the truth will be concealed by the mainstream media or by a third party too. In the light of such cases you’d still be able to suss-out the information you see if you follow the 3 simple steps mentioned in this article.


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