You and Fake News..!

With all of us staying at home, with no idea what is happening outside, all sorts of news fills our WhatsApp and email inboxes! Most are convincing as with cleverly worked out facts and figures, nicely padded and parceled into believable packages, we accept it!
…we forward it!
What didn’t we do, before forwarding it to friends? We didn’t verify facts, we didn’t think with a discerning mind! No, instead gleefully we ran to grasp, hold and spread what someone so glibly sent to us.
I’d been called as a guest speaker in the last two years to speak on Fake News vs Breaking News. The gist of what I say is that today in our WhatsApp and email forwards we play the role of editors, with each of us having followers who believe in our credibility, which puts a huge responsibility on our heads, doesn’t it?
Carry your phone with you and let’s go for a walk, shall we? Let’s visit old Socrates for a few moments! “Socrates!” you shout, “Do you know what I just read in my WhatsApp?”
“Hold on a minute,” old Socrates says, putting down his cup of hemlock. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you just heard and are going to forward is true?”
“No,” you say rather reluctantly, “actually it was forwarded to me!”
“All right,” said Socrates. “So, you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to forward something good to hear or read?”
“No, on the contrary…” you stammer.
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to forward something bad and you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to forward going to be useful to those you forward to?”
“No not really …” you say.
“Well,” concludes Socrates, “if what you want to forward is neither true nor good nor even useful, why forward it at all?”
“Thanks Socrates!” you tell him as we scramble back to the present.
“Bye!” shouts the sage as he throws away his hemlock, “And Bob, do tell the world what I’ve just told you and your friend, If it ain’t true, good or useful, don’t forward!”
Do listen to Socrates dear friends, it may help keep you from jail..!



DARE by Robert Clements.
It will change your life.

6 thoughts on “You and Fake News..!”

  1. The same rules apply to our conversations too !
    But sometimes truth has to be told even if it hurts , then it should be said with love and compassion.
    Let us keep in mind,
    “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” — William Blake

  2. Sensationalism is the hallmark of fake news. Many fall prey to it and without second thought forward it. Your prescription is indeed useful to check the instinctive response to fake news.

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