In the age of the internet, misinformation is more rampant than ever. As citizens, it’s our job to fact check and find the correct information on our own. All too often, the information we consume is found on Twitter and Facebook.
Part of this is being too lazy to research, and part of this is simply that we trust too much. We expect the information to be true, especially when it comes from people we think we can trust. In all likelihood, the person who shared that article or image didn’t do their fair share of fact checking before sharing, which is why it falls on us to do our own research.
Recently, there was a black cat that ran across the field of Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game. About a day after the game, the image of a black cat running across the field went viral with the caption about thanking sports photographers.
However, these were not the same black cats. The photo had been taken nearly three years before that Monday night game. Still, millions of people saw that image and accepted it as the same event.
This didn’t harm anyone, thankfully. But the potential damage by misinformation is far too great.
As college students, we are given so many resources and tools to help combat misinformation. For example, the library offers free digital subscriptions to the New York Times. We also have teachers at our disposal. Part of preventing misinformation is simply knowing background information on what’s going on.
It still falls on us to do our own research, and with the 2020 election coming up, this is more important than ever. We have a responsibility to do better for ourselves and our country. We don’t have to let the spread of misinformation continue with us.
With facts, we can end it.