The dummy’s guide to combatting fake news

Never share a meme without first looking up the source. Any quotes can be easily verified by simply typing it into a search engine.

All links and articles should be read before sharing.

Fact check any urban legends. Snopes has been around since 1994.

Become an active consumer. Passive consumers scroll through their feed being told what is happening. Instead, pick a topic of interest and read a book about it. Find other topics that you are interested in and then Google it.

You only need 10 minutes on Twitter per day to stay informed. Every minute after that is a waste. The less social media you use, the better you feel.

Pick up a book on a subject you are interested in learning about. The average American reads only one book per year after high school.

Understand what cultivation theory is and how it works in our culture today.

Why do so many Type A personalities work on Wall Street? Understand how people sort each other (including ideas).

Understand what system thinking is. How do debt systems come into play?

As a rule, you should ask yourself who is benefitting from this? As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Follow the money.

In 2013, The Washington Post was sold to Jeff Bezos. It’s great that the paper found a way to survive with the many accolades it has received over the years. However, you now can’t read the Washington Post without understanding that it is sympathetic toward big businesses. What sort of back door deals come into play when a politician is sympathetic toward Amazon? What happens when someone challenges them? Once you begin to see the conflicts of interest, you can’t unsee them.

Everyone has biases and prejudices. Including you. If you were taught what someone else was taught, grew up the way they did, experienced what they experienced, you would probably act the same way.

Information comes to us in a map already drawn, a story already told. We don’t use the information to change our mind, we use it to amplify a voice in our head. We click to confirm not to change our narrative.

When is the last time a tweet changed our mind? They never do.