Our handheld devices provide us with an unprecedented level of convenience and accessibility to our neighbors, our friends and the world around us.
At the touch of a button, information — whether it’s true or false — can go from obscure to viral within a few hours.
This may sound great to those who aspire to be a social media influencer, but the consequences can be dire for a democracy which needs accurate information to make important decisions.
As Union members, you’ve probably heard from your Union Rep and read in the pages of this magazine to “not spread misinformation.”
It’s a common reminder when the Union is negotiating a contract on your behalf. We need a united front to secure the best contract possible, and when lies and half-truths are floating around on the work floor and in break rooms, it only serves to weaken and divide us.
It’s damaging enough when lies are spread throughout a grocery store or processing plant. It gets even worse when they spread unchecked across the entire country.
This is the unfortunate situation we’re in now. Social media are overrun with conspiracy theories containing misinformation and lies.
The corporations which own these powerful platforms have displayed an inability — and, at times, unwillingness — to confront this problem.
Let’s stop enabling those who want to destabilize and use misinformation to turn ourselves against each other.
Before you share something you see on social media, pause for a moment before pressing the “send” button. Consider whether the source is a reliable news organization. If it’s an unattributed YouTube video or an organization you’ve never heard of, there’s a good chance it is not legitimate.
If it’s something about what’s happening in the world today, you can verify the information by using one of several online fact-checking sites like Snopes.com or PolitiFact.com. If it’s something about your Union, call your District Union Representative to get the facts!
A functioning democracy requires having an informed populace. This can’t happen when non-truths and falsehoods are used to create alternative “realities” intended to misguide and mislead others.
Please do your part by sharing responsibly!