Chapter 2: Social Media Use and Fact-Checking
Misinformation is rife online and has the potential to travel further, faster and sometimes deeper than the truth.
Chapter two deals with social media use and fact-checking, as even small falsehoods hold the power to hurt people and lead to conflict. Falsehoods can manifest in three main ways: misinformation – sharing incorrect information but not knowing that it is wrong; disinformation – purposefully sharing incorrect information to deceive people; and mal-information – information that might be true or not but is shared solely to inflict harm, either towards an individual or a larger group.
Information verification tools are listed, which all start with questioning everything. Researching the source, reading past the headline, cross-checking and distrusting absolute narratives are some of the tools that help in preventing dis- and misinformation. How to conduct oneself online is also discussed, with users being asked to check their facts and be transparent, clear, fair and respectful.
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