Before I share with you this information, I have one question, how did you find this article? This is a rhetorical question in the sense that I don't want an answer, but this can lead to great discussion. You could have found this through a direct source where the article was actually posted. You could have also found the article through indirect links where it has been shared via a weblink that directs you to one of these direct sources. Why is any of this important? This is important because it helps us understand the power of the media, and that is exactly what I want to discuss in this article.
Any media platform whether it's a blog community, social networking platform, image sharing platform, news show/channel, etc. can be used to influence. No matter if it's a friends summer vacation post or a national broadcast, every piece of media put out, impacts something. That impact is determined by the audience of that media. While many don't think of the potential of the media, some use it as a tool to get their message and views across. We have all heard of social media influencers, they all have intentionally or maybe unintentionally figured out an algorithm that got a message out there and that brought together an audience. We don't know what it was, whether it was beauty tips, dance, activism, or any other concept that could engage a community of people, but we know it made an impact. These influencers then use what we will call the "source" media and keep building on it to increase traffic and build their audience.
Now if used improperly, you will have mass division based upon opposing views, but if used properly and carefully you can bring people together, you can promote change against injustice and help make the world a better place. Misinformation is a huge problem, and we have seen it time and time again just within the COVID-19 pandemic. Claims of false cures and unproven but apparently "deemed safe" aids against the virus, have led to harm or even death. This needs to change, misinformation especially about medical information or important political data, needs to be stopped... we need the truth.
Also in times like the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen icons who have large fan-bases/audiences speaking out. While some still lie and some may just do it for a reputation, there are some who truly care. There are some who know when enough is enough and action is needed to be taken for a country and a world that is on it's knees begging for help, begging for guidance, begging for the truth. But you don't have to have a huge audience to be able to help spread awareness. We have all heard the saying "big things come in small packages" and that is true in this fight against misinformation.
So, What Can We Do?
We can start by reporting misinformation to media hosts, in hope that they do the right thing and remove it or tag it with unbiased facts. We can spread awareness about misinformation and the effects and threats it poses. We can commit to using platforms for good, using platforms for change, using platforms for the truth. But it's not just stopping misinformation but promoting the truth and unbiased facts.
The time is now to stop the spread of misinformation, the world needs the truth, and we need it now.