Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Soapboxes & Social Media: How Sturdy Is Your Platform?

Whether you're taking a public stand via social media on women's rights or Oreo-flavored Oreos, please, please, PLEASE verify your sources. Disinformation is a real thing that's been happening since the advent of news. Text wrapped around an image or video does not make whatever that text is asserting true. Statements are often taken out of context and spun to suit a narrative. A talking head behind a desk is not beholden to any vow of truth or objectivity.

The internet makes it really easy to spread good things and bad things, facts and lies. Don't assume that a post on a friend's wall comes from a reliable source. Don't assume that because it looks like a legit news site, that it isn't embedded marketing, native advertising, or straight-up cult recruitment.

If you've got a soap box, by all means, use it. Be smart, make sure it's sturdy. Don't lose your credibility in a rush to indignation or to catch a bandwagon.

As the saying goes, "Trust but Verify."

Not sure how to double-check your sources?  FactCheck.org & NPR both offer refreshers in "Is That True?"

I'm a big fan of Snopes.com and PolitiFact, plus using the Three Source and For/Against rules we learned back in grade school.

Critical thinking, folks. It's important to your sanity and your social media presence.