For most of us, it’s pretty common that we see news and information posted in our chat groups and across our social media. Many of our parents like to share. Many of our relatives like to share. Many of our friends like to share. We like to share sometimes, too!
Lately, our chat groups and social media feeds have been full of articles, especially articles about COVID-19, the pandemic, quarantine, and health information.
Sometimes, this news is important and helpful. Other times? Well, we also know that the news shared by our family and friends isn’t always 100% true.
And when they’re not true, they’re called a hoax. And they can be tricky to spot! Hoax messages are created just to cause confusion and panic, and they’re so dangerous because they sound like they could be true.
And the worst part? These hoaxes might be getting shared by the people you love in your family. They don’t know they’re doing it, they’re just trying to be helpful. But because the message sounds kinda true and it comes from a family member, it’s easy to see how the wrong message can spread like a chain from one person to another.
Soon, nobody knows what is true and what is false. In an emergency, that’s pretty dangerous! What we need now are people who will break the chain and stop hoaxes from spreading.
Follow these tips and be a Hoax-Chain-Breaker!
- Double-check if the news is indeed a hoax. You can do this by checking the source of the news. If it’s not a legit news platform that you can trust, it might be a hoax.
- Refrain from commenting and reacting towards the news! Once we know that it’s a hoax, we shouldn’t add to the hoaxes success by sharing or commenting. The more attention the post gets, the more dangerous it is.
- Report using the platform’s feature. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram always have a feature where you can report content. Use this and ask them to take down the hoax.
- If it’s shared by friends or family members in a chat group, try to politely counter them with facts and ask them to stop panic-sharing because that’s exactly what the hoax spreader wants! We even wrote a guide to help you talk to older relatives.
It’s not easy to face the COVID-19 situation, especially when hoaxes are making a scary situation even scarier for the people you care about. Do what you can to stop the rumors and fight fiction with fact: be informed, keep your head on your shoulders, and be the chain breaker that keeps your community safe!
Stay safe, Springsters!