The Internet is a vast universe of thoughts and opinions buzzing by you at warp speed. Everywhere you look someone has got something to say. Opinion pieces, op-eds, Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram videos, YouTube vlogs –all of these are content made up of somebody’s thoughts and experiences. Some of the people creating and providing this content are well informed and knowledgeable about the subjects they are talking about. Other people do it for the clicks and interactions. Because the Internet is so huge and so infinite, there isn’t a prototypical authoritative body keeping track of what’s real and what’s fake out there. In essence, anyone can post anything they want on the Internet. As a consequence, you may come across a widely shared piece of content, read it, and assume it’s true, just because of the amount of reposts or re-shares it’s gathered.
If you are a blogger then you should know you have a social responsibility to be truthful with what you post. I don’t necessarily limit the classification of bloggers to a person who owns a website. Any person with a social media account is essentially a blogger. And so you owe it to yourself to post or repost quality content, and not opt for the populist stuff.
Learning about a topic first before sounding your opinion on it is what the world in its current state desperately needs. The Internet has become ridden with trolls and fake news peddlers whose main goal is to disrupt the flow of honest information to the masses of people begging for it. They share articles that are fabricated or purposefully misleading. They chime in on discussion boards and promote hate speech or cancel culture. They feed your timeline with fake narratives and doctored images to spark your emotions and get you to think irrationally.
Some social media platforms have sought to suppress such acts of scandalous behavior by flagging the content and removing it off their platform altogether. In my opinion, such measures are unnecessary, harsh, and breach of people’s right to free speech. A better approach would be to fight fire with fire. Offset the amount of fake news out there by some simple but effective measures. These measures could be fact-checking articles, providing honest content to combat the fake ones, promoting or sharing well-researched content from legitimate sources.
We have seen the prioritization of quality content work wonders for platforms such as Google. But this responsibility doesn’t only fall on organizations. Individuals themselves should practice producing quality content or reading quality content, instead of falling for the same trap every time. After all, as the saying goes, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.