Are you a super spreader?

With barely two (2) months away, the May 2022 campaign disinformation network is firing on all cylinders. Yes, you got that right - disinformation! Information that is deliberately false with the objective of misleading others. What is even more concerning is that disinformation is from all sides - those aligned with the current administration and those opposed to it.

It is not easy not to fall victim to the propaganda, specially they are spread by people you love, people you trust, and today, even news media that you think are better. There are news media outlet that are obviously biased, you know that - don’t fall for the illusion that they are fair. Gone are those days when they are expected to be fair, but now, it is all about ratings and clicks, or even worse, whoever the investors support. And these news media extend their reach through social media.

Ask yourself, what kind of news riles up people? Now check the headlines from your favorite news media. The news often pisses you off, right? Yeah, those sell at lot, too! Same tactic used by the likes of Facebook – more hate, more anger mean more engagements, more views, more clicks, which translate to big bucks! The March 17, 2022 episode (episode 7: Media) of the Apple TV+ TV show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart”, might help you understand it better.

A few days ago, I genuinely asked my small network on Twitter for reliable and reputable sources for information that is seemingly considered as fact by friends and acquiantances. Surprisingly, not a single one has provided me with one - either they don’t know or they don’t care – and yet they contribute to spreading this unverified information. I mentioned earlier, we all fall victim to disinformation. One way to help stop it is to stop using social media, specially Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and even YouTube, where these are spread rapidly.

OK, ditching social media might be too extreme and unrealistic, so the next big thing is to STOP SHARING unverified information (deepfakes, manipulated photos and twisted facts). Yeah, I know it is too much hassle – imagine, reading a post, which you may find to be too important not to share, but you need to do some extra to validate it first, whilst your friends are sharing irresponsibly. Unfortunately, this is the only way to go.

Remember, the temptation to share is strong, but think twice before you do please. Are you a disinformation super spreader?