I find myself being affected by so many disheartening news and postings that bombard my social media page. I then find myself in the midst of a heated discussion. I realize how many postings are out there that are simply instilling fear in their readers. They are actually very discouraging.
I came to a realization that I also have an internet, Facebook account and Instagram account, which keep me up-to-date with what is happening in the world right now. As much as I appreciate people sharing what they deem important to share, in most cases, I have already read them several times over. Unless what they are sharing is to uplift my spirit, to encourage me and most especially, not to provoke fear because of fake news, I wish they would stop.
Are we allowing ourselves to be instrumental in spreading fake news? How can we ensure that what we share out there is factual? I am sure that we have one motive only when we share information with our loved ones. It is because we love them and care for them. Most of all, we want them to be aware. We want them to benefit from the information we are sharing.
However, having good intentions is not always met with the actual deed. I recall a quote, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” and “Hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works”.
How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!
A pastor said, “Remember, not everything we hear or read is true. Let’s get our facts straight so as not to sow fear but truth.” Let us be cautious in sharing information out there. Not every information out there is true. Fake news is rampant. Let us follow God’s instruction to us in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Fake news is information that is inaccurate and misleading. The New York Times defined fake news on the Internet as false articles deliberately fabricated to deceive readers, generally with the goal of profiting through clickbait.
One way to discern fake news is by its author. Is the author credible? Look out for keywords such as “claim”, “I believe” and
“a friend said”. None of those words is facts. If the information cannot name its source, think twice, maybe three times before believing it, let alone sharing it.
There are a lot of eye-catching headings out there but when you read the full story, the contents have nothing to do with it.
If it is a major news information, one way to distinguish if it is true is by asking, “Did it make news bulletin on TV news and major and local newspapers?” Your antenna should be up if it is absent from major local news.
Most wrong information is delivered with the best intentions. Sincerity is no measure of accuracy.