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Media Literacy

Take the time to improve your media literacy | editorial

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Misinformation is increasingly found to be the cause of many divisive arguments and the cause of too many disasters. As the media becomes more and more intertwined with what we perceive to be real, everyone should take the time to improve their media literacy and help combat misinformation.

It is an unfortunate fact that there will always be people who intentionally create misinformation. Their plans are different, but the disastrous results are the same and far-reaching.

What doesn’t help is that social media – the best way to spread information and misinformation alike – is only gaining reach. As its platforms expand, social media surpasses our ability to moderate and mitigate its content and its impact. As a result, consumers and media professionals do not have the tools to spot or tackle misleading content that can jump from audience to audience faster than wildfire in a drought-ravaged forest.

This cannot go on.

A new information disruption commission sponsored by the Aspen Institute recently released an 80-page analysis of how lawmakers can help combat misinformation. The 16-strong panel, composed of some of the top voices in cybersecurity and media, calls for “new rules for social media platforms, stricter, more consistent rules for misinformation” super spreaders “that amplify harmful falsehoods, and new ones Investing in authoritative journalism and organizations that teach critical thinking and media literacy, ”according to The Associated Press.

While this commission is aimed at the top management of governments across the country, many of us can already take steps now to help in this fight.

We individually have to learn to consume media responsibly, to go beyond click-bait or inflammatory language and to find out what is behind the media we consume.

We need to get used to asking, “Is this from a credible source?”, “What point of view does this promote?”, “Is that the whole story?”

We cannot be satisfied with hearsay. We are not allowed to accept anything just because we are okay with it.

Changing the way we consume media will take an effort, but it is time we woke up and pay attention to what we are actually consuming.

Only in this way can we individually contribute to what a common endeavor should be: to become a society that combats misinformation.

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