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How Misinformation Spreads On Social Media — And What To Do About It How Misinformation Spreads On Social Media — And What To Do About It
It pains me you can’t say anything about Covid19 on social media or the platform will slap a banner on your post, directing you... How Misinformation Spreads On Social Media — And What To Do About It

It pains me you can’t say anything about Covid19 on social media or the platform will slap a banner on your post, directing you to the “approved” government information source on the topic. Facebook even has their “own” information centre on the topic. They want to control the narrative so bad they literally insert their information into your post. Are we collectively ok with that?

Stop The Spread

Stopping the spread of misinformation a good thing. Never before has so much bad information been spread online about something so impactful to our wellbeing… or has it? Or is the only difference “just” that covid19 impacts literally the entire world? It’s not unthinkable, and come to think of it, maybe it’s very likely, misinformation exists on every topic online.

I’ve once spoke to a client who used Google as a spell checker. When he didn’t know how to type a word, he’d Google it the way he thought it should be spelled. If he found any results, the spelling was correct – he argued. He thought nobody else on the World Wide Web would have published or written something in the history of the internet, with the same potential typo.

The information he thought was helping him, being free and abundant, confirmed that literally every incorrect spelling of any word was deemed correct… do you see the point?

Curated information

Curated information helps you get straight to the solution. While information itself is “free and abundant”, good information is not. It pays to have access to trusted and curated sources of information. People that have already achieved what you want to do. It’s not about good or bad information – but whether what you’re surrounding yourself with is in alignment with your goals, or not. What’s useful to you may be of no help to someone else. Pick what works for you. Learn from others.

And if you see something online you really don’t like, or something you think shouldn’t be online: report it. You can even report advertisements for being irrelevant, too annoying, or simply seeing the same ads too much. You can hide and unfollow accounts that you don’t like. Take control of the information you see and allow to enter your view. Keep in mind social media isn’t like an airport: you don’t need to announce your departure. Leaving any comment, including negative comments, on a post signals the social media platform the post is good because it just got one more engagement, so as tempting as it may be to comment – don’t, if you don’t like it.

How Information Spreads

Let’s teach those social media algorithms a lesson and show them what matters. Check in with what your friends, people you trust, are sharing on social media and beyond… there’s more great thinkers, independents, small business owners, and other people worth engaging with among those you know than you might think. Whether they realize it or not, they all have one thing in common: they could use your support. Once you know how misinformation spreads on social media, you can use that to your advantage, and instead of fighting it you can start a more positive trend by engaging with what matters.

Throughout the Covid19 pandemic everyone spoke about “shopping local” and “support local”. Even if you don’t buy from your friends – share what they do. Click like, or even better leave a brief comment. It shows the social media algorithms their posts matter. And if you do buy from your business-owner-friends, they’d probably go the extra mile for you. That’s the value you get from knowing them and shopping local. Don’t ask for a discount. Pay full price.

Connecting one-to-one

The one thread that runs through all our lives is that your are not alone. ~ Oprah Winfrey

I’ve been looking for something more personal to build a closer connection to my favourite people. One of my most important goals is to have much more direct communication with all of you, not controlled by social media bots and algorithms, but from one human being to another. The solution is simple: text me. Just say Hello. I’d actually like to hear from you.

Before you text me (and I hope you do) – check in with someone you care about. It can be a friend, coworker, relative, loved one. Reach out, say hello. Ask how they’re doing. You may be “friends” with them on social media, but when did they last hear from you personally, one-on-one?

Wilko van de Kamp Author | Artist | Advisor

Hi, I’m Wilko van de Kamp, creator of Liberty Training Academy and author of the Freedom Project book series. For more than 15 years, I have helped people and their companies achieve their own results beyond their goals. I work with authors, coaches and experts to build their brand to become a #1 industry influencer and increase their impact on the communities they serve. We focus on every aspect of personal brand building through technology and storytelling, with a relentless focus on accelerating the achievement of their personal, professional and financial goals. And I would love to do the same for you! To get started, you can preview any of my courses free of charge.