If we’ve realized something for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic upended all our lives almost 2 years in the past, it’s easy methods to sanitize our arms, houses, workplaces, and absolutely anything we encounter to cease the unfold of the virus. Seems, we additionally want to keep up that vigilance when encountering details about COVID-19 in our social media feeds. Because the pandemic continued, harmful misinformation about therapies, cures, and the vaccines flourished. This surroundings has underscored the significance of consuming and sharing on-line content material with care. And that strategy applies not solely to a public well being disaster, however to all data we encounter. We have to take steps to make sure a submit, photograph, or meme is “sanitized” earlier than we belief it, prefer it, move it on, or market it in any method.

The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan nationwide schooling nonprofit, has created steps you possibly can observe to make sure that you apply good data hygiene. NLP, a information literacy schooling chief since 2008, gives applications and sources that will help you acquire the talents, data, and mindset to be sensible customers of stories and different data. If we sanitize the method round our data habits, we are able to stop deceptive and false content material — which may be hazardous to our well being and society — from being broadly shared and probably doing hurt.

You don’t want any particular abilities or know-how to learn the way to take action. NLP gives you with important steering in its infographic, “Sanitize before you share: 4 quick steps to stop the spread of misinformation.” It will probably take solely 4 steps to maintain your self or others from changing into a “superspreader” of misinformation. And when you discover credible proof {that a} social media submit isn’t true or the supply is unreliable, warn others in a reply to the submit, and if essential, report it to platform directors.

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