Since the introduction of accessible internet and technology, we have all been able to access a world that we never would have been able to just a couple of decades ago. Now it is easier than ever to find information and learn about the world in a way that we never thought we would be able to.
The internet is great because it has created one of the most educated generations to ever live, due to the increased accessibility to educational tools. However, with all of the fantastic information that we have been able to access, we have also been revealed to a lot more misinformation .
It is important to remember that the internet isn’t exactly strictly policed, which means people can essentially post what they like when they like. Though some social media platforms are becoming a bit more strict on this, the rest of the internet doesn’t tend to monitor what people are posting unless it is obscene or illegal.
You may have noticed that there has been a drastic increase in the amount of conspiracy theorists that exist in this day and age, and the reason for their existence is largely down to the access that they have to false information online.
What is wrong with misinformation
You may be asking, what is wrong with someone thinking that the world is flat or that a giant white bear lives in the mountains? For the most part most misinformation is nothing more than manic rants and random theories, but there is a lot of misinformation that can be extremely harmful to the world.
If we look at the current state of the world, there is a lot going on. One of the biggest problems that we are facing at the moment is issues with race relations. With everything going on in relation to race relations, there has been a lot of misinformation that has spread in order to fuel anger and create rifts in the relationships that we have with our fellow human beings.
For the most part, people were able to ignore a lot of this misinformation. However, when fake statistics concerning black on white violence was released online, many angry people thought that it was real data and so reacted as though it was. This created real life violence, with people being attacked in the streets due to some misinformation. This is why misinformation is so dangerous, because the false testimonies of someone online produced actual violence.
A very common trend at the moment is questioning what has been taught during our time at school. Many people online are claiming that a lot of scientific and historical facts that we were taught in school are not in fact true. Many people on the internet don’t quite understand how the world around them works and so when they find something that makes a little more sense, they desperately grasp it.
As a response to this, one of the most educated generations to ever exist is slowly starting to lose a lot of its intelligence as it is becoming confused by long lists of misinformation.
Danger to health
Something that you may have noticed if you spend a lot of time online is the introduction of life hacks and ‘ did you knows’, though a lot of these videos offer useful tips that can help to make life a little easier, there are many of people that are taking advantage of this format as a means to spread misinformation.
A more recent one that you may be aware of is quick microwave cooking hacks or similar videos. These videos have led to a lot of injuries among those who try it as a lot of the lifehack videos that people are following were actually published with the intention of trying to catch people out or even injure people. For people that are quite naive to the way that the internet works, they do not know that these hacks are in fact not real and could lead to injury, so they try them and then have to deal with their horrible consequences afterwards. In fact, there have been a number of recorded deaths caused by videos like this.
What can you do?
The best way that you can fight misinformation is by correcting it. Luckily for us, on most parts of the internet you have the option to comment on posts made by other people, so you can call them out from there.
You could also set up your own twitter account that challenges any misinformation that you may have encountered, so why not buy twitter followers and really get your page started. The bigger your page is, the more people are aware that they are being exposed to misinformation.