If it’s in print, it must be worth paying attention to!
If it’s from a “reputable” site, it must be true!
The Internet makes us all susceptible to bias or right-out lies; Therefore, it is the duty of every person who goes on the web to judiciously and skeptically approach EVERY piece of news which one comes across.
Here’s a post a wrote awhile back entitled “If you can’t read the news without spreading rumors, then …” Read post here
It would seem like most people in the world haven’t followed my advice. Hmmm. Well, let’s try again. Here’s a link from Christianity Today which explains very well what to do when someone reads stuff on the web. It’s great advice. Check it out: Christianity Today link
The uproar this week surrounds a fake news story about a pastor being arrested for not being willing to perform a gay wedding. Can you imagine what followed? How many people shared this on their Facebook page only to have their friends share and their biases confirmed by something which was entirely not true.
But this is not surprising. Everyday (literally) I see memes and articles on Facebook and other outlets which, if they aren’t true, they are extremely misleading. They come from all points of view – liberal, conservative, Christian, atheist – everyone has an agenda and are often times willing to skew the facts a little to better their point of view.
You, as the reader, have to be smart. You have to be able to see past the ridiculous statements and the political spin to look at the issues in a level-headed manner.
Please. Don’t pass on anything without verifying the facts. Don’t accept any news at face value. Don’t believe anything the Onion publishes. (I feel bad for those who have accepted the Onion’s news as real. Oh my.)
If you spot fake news or misleading information, confront it (with grace) to pass on the correct information. If you pass on information which you find out later to be wrong, make amends. Re-post and set the record straight. It can make a big difference.
In this digital day and age, we all must be the eyes and ears which guard the truth. Don’t sit back and expect the media to do it for us.