The Power Of Misinformation In Modern Society

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The Power Of Misinformation In Modern Society

In today’s society, there’s a seemingly limitless amount of untrustworthy sources of information. Ignorance and naivety mean a large percentage of people take what they hear or read, no matter what the source, as completely true and honest.

With a huge rise in time spent on social media, there are now many important topics that are shrouded in question marks and resources detailing incorrect and biased information. There are many sources that should be avoided, and certain steps to follow to ensure that the platform you choose will provide you with genuine facts.

Origins Of False Information

From the very beginning, humans have been taking information and switching it up or changing it around to suit themselves, whether this is due to honest mistakes during communication or done purposefully to have a different reaction. Old wives tales are some of the oldest stories around, yet often due to superstition and anxiety, many people have faith and trust in these sayings and believe them to be historically accurate. Famous Christian heresies prove that ‘Chinese whispers’ and presumptions can even alter huge aspects of religion and faith.

In the modern day, social media sites and fake news companies provide a wealth of misleading stories full of false information and essentially fictitious lies and data. Some of these pages exist with the purpose of providing satirical articles, yet the ignorance and naivety of the modern man can result in many viewers accepting what they read and then sharing this with others.

Unfortunately, many people cash in on this willingness to accept whatever is published on the internet and use this to their advantage. Fear can spread very quickly, and the ease of reaching millions of people in one click can provide a haven for those with sinister intentions.

Even political parties and their actions can be massively distorted and changed and then spread online, therefore potentially having a large impact on the way constituents choose to vote even when what they are reading simply is not true. Everywhere you look and listen, a percentage of what you learn will be influenced by or even based on weak foundations.

 

How To Find The Right Sources

Finding your way through all of the false information to discover a source of a platform that you can actually trust can be tricky. However, the importance of being able to understand and develop your knowledge on a topic based on truth is paramount to learning and evolving sufficiently.

To ensure that you are able to identify the fact from the fiction, you can follow a few simple steps. If you develop an interest in a subject, visit your local library for books on the topic that are vetted and rated by other members. The same usually goes for other bookstores, though they are more likely to stock biased and controversial materials.

Reading reviews can provide you with an insight into the credibility and worth of the content and help you to decide whether or not to purchase. When opting for a newspaper, check which political and influential members contribute and decipher if it is biased in its tone or subject matter.

Choosing the right websites online can be a tricky business, as the internet moves so fast that new pages pop up and disappear every day. Try to stick to official news sites, as they come under more scrutiny when publishing information due to their wide client base. Check the date on which the article was released, as they can be over 10 years old and still appearing as the very top of your search engine.

Avoid any informative pieces that state any of the writers as simply ‘anonymous’ or don’t provide credit to authors at all.  Always check the facts you find with other sites to rate their credibility and plausibility. It’s best not to accept anything that is written on social media sites, and it is very rare that the information you are provided with is either exaggerated, taken out of context for personal gain, or just completely fictitious. Social media sites are rife with misinformation due to their lack of regulations and emphasis on free speech and sharing your thoughts with the world.

With so many important topics and subjects beaten down by false data and opinion, it’s hard to blame people for being misinformed. However, it’s still important to take your own steps to find the truth and facts in the sea of deceit.

Contributed Content


About Author

Jamie Sorenson

Jamie Sorenson is a freelance writer with a Masters in Communications from Quinnipiac. An inspiring screenplay writer, Jamie freelances for many media outlets.