In fact, half of us pay more attention to who shared a story with us than where it originally came from.[1]

Because social media makes us all broadcasters, we have a responsibility not just to avoid sharing misinformation but to take action when people in our network share it.

One of the hardest things about being a responsible sharer is to be aware of your own biases, the reasons why you might be more likely to believe something without evidence. These are aspects of the way we think that can lead us to accept false statements, reject true ones, or simply not ask enough questions.

The internet is all about sharing – sharing news, sharing videos, sharing our thoughts and opinions with our friends.

We Are All Broadcasters – tip sheet

Here are three tips to make sure you share good information and stop the spread of hoaxes, rumours and scams.

1. Watch for your own bias

One of the hardest things about being a responsible sharer is to be aware of the reasons why you might be more likely to believe something without evidence. Before you share a story, take a few minutes to see whether you’ve fallen into one of these common biases:

Reality Check game

On the internet, it can be hard to tell what’s true and what’s false—but we have to make a lot of decisions based on how reliable we think things are. In Reality Check, you’ll learn how to find clues like finding where a story originally came from and comparing it to other sources, as well as how to use tools like fact-checking sites and reverse image searches.

Once you’ve found information online – or someone has shared it with you – how do you know if it’s true, or at least credible? In other words, how do you authenticate the information? The Internet is a unique medium in that it allows anyone – not just experts – to write on any topic and to broadcast it to a wide audience.

The strength and weakness of the Internet as a research source is just how much information there is: a badly-phrased search can drown you in irrelevant, misleading or unreliable results.

The digital age presents us with unprecedented problems when it comes to finding information and making sure that it’s true. Where our first problem used to be getting information, what’s more difficult today is filtering out what we need from what we don’t. In fact, creating and distributing information is now so easy that we can no longer assume that sources have anything to lose by spreading content that’s false or misleading. In essence, today we all have to be our own librarians, researchers and fact-checkers.

Authentication 101

information on how to search and how to authenticate information. Both are essential skills to master if we want to end up with relevant and reliable information.

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