The 2020s may just be the decade that we figure out tricks to battle misinformation, here are some of my tricks.
- Seek out information from trusted sources – if in doubt, have a think if the platform can financially gain from me staying for a prolonged period of time?
- Research important info by using the term/phrase provided by official sources; only use colloquial or buzz-words in moderation.
- Commercial outlets/agencies/websites need to stay viable and survive, I understand that, so I often remind myself that they may be publishing advertorials among important/ useful information – Am I being pitched to buy something? Can it be something of political bias?
- Be aware that social media platforms are fundamentally technology companies to maximize your time spending on their platforms so they can generate advertising revenue – social media are designed to feed you with what they think will hold your attention for as long as possible
- Think critically about how you determine something is accurate, particularly video content as they are often perceived as more trustworthy even they may be bias or inaccurate
- Avoid information that appears to be unsourced or inflammatory
- If coming across information that appears to research, check out their sources of funding or sponsorships
- Think before you like or share a post – all abetted by technology platforms designed to send content to be viral
- When reposting, make sure it is simple, clear, straightforward and unedited; also, it’s a good manner to acknowledge the source of information
- I mostly repost or engaging contents from people that I actually know, sometimes I receive DMs on LinkedIn to help “hacking the algorithm” from strangers, given my LinkedIn platform reflects what I believe in professionally, I’m a bit more mindful about unsolicited correspondences
This content was written and first published in February 2020. A version of this article was also published on www.ames.net.au/blogs/protect-yourself-from-misinformation, I was contracted to provide the content published.
Just in case if a certain social media cut Australia off again:
COVID-19 & Health Updates:
- ABC New https://www.abc.net.au/news/
- ABC News https://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/coronavirus/
- SBS News https://www.sbs.com.au/news/
- COVID-19 vaccines info, Federal Department of Health https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines
- Translated resources https://www.health.gov.au/resources/translated
- Department of Health (VIC) https://www.vic.gov.au/department-health
- NSW Health www.health.nsw.gov.au
- SA Health www.sahealth.sa.gov.au
- COVID 19 The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity https://www.doherty.edu.au/our-work/institute-themes/viral-infectious-diseases/covid-19/summary
Weather & Bush Fire Safety:
- Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au
- Bush fire Warnings, Incidents and Planned Burns in VIC emergency.vic.gov.au/respond
- NSW Rural Fire Service www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me
- South Australian Country Fire Service www.sa.gov.au/topics/emergencies-and-safety/types/bushfire
- Australian Government Department of Social Services, national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service www.1800respect.org.au
- inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence www.intouch.org.au/services-and-support-during-covid-19
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre www.safesteps.org.au 1800 015 188 (Victoria’s 24/7 confidential family violence support service.)
- Child protection contacts, Department of Human Services (VIC) https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/child-protection-contacts
- Kids Helpline www.kidshelpline.com.au 1800 650 890
- After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service: 13 12 78