Digital Citizenship: Sharing information
Our friends and family pay attention to what we share online. Just like a journalist, it’s our responsibility to make sure something is true before we share it.
- Don’t share things right away.
Social media is designed to make you share things right away, but it’s better to wait a few minutes to think about it first. Give your “thinking brain” time to take over from your “feeling brain.”
- Don’t be manipulated.
If you feel a strong emotion about something – if it makes you happy, makes you mad, proves you right, or seems “too good to be true” – pause and use our four Break the Fake steps to find out.
- Do share information that you’ve confirmed is true.
The more accurate information there is out there, the more it can drown out the bad stuff. But you don’t always have to let information come to you. Instead, turn to sources that have a good track record. Make a point of only sharing information you know is true and accurate.
- Trusted sources check their facts.
A trusted source, like a reliable news organization, has a good track record and a process for getting the facts right. If you’re not sure, search Wikipedia to see how long they’ve been around, whether their news reporting is mostly accurate and objective, and whether they’re open about correcting their mistakes.
- Expert sources know their subject.
An expert source is a person or group with expert knowledge on a topic, like a doctor or a public health agency. But being an expert in one area doesn’t make someone an expert in everything - you wouldn’t go to your doctor for advice on your taxes! Make sure your source knows what they’re talking about.
Check that something is true before you share. If it sparks a strong emotion in you, that’s a sign you need to pause and double check that the information is true.
Your friends and family are counting on you to share good and accurate information.