We are all entangled in a web of rhetoric that stems from the sharing of information that has not been created by trustworthy sources. This current flurry of misinformation is taking place around the world and is undermining democracies and evoking a great deal of mistrust in our governmental processes.
It is our responsibility to combat this misinformation such that we can conduct well-informed political deliberation around candidates and policies that have an effect on our everyday lives and the lives of our family members.
In a world driven by social media, traditional gatekeepers can no longer play a significant role in protecting inaccurate information from spreading quickly. According to Carnegie Mellon’s research, most elections and natural disasters result in anywhere between seven to 100 disinformation campaigns, the COVID-19 pandemic has produced thousands.
Some of the best minds are working on this issue around the clock and many of them happen to be Black women. Atlanta’s Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms took to the television to ensure that she was the voice communicating to the people of her city during the riots after the killing of George Floyd.
Nikol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow at Brookings, stated in a recent Carnegie Mellon University article just how important it is to have the conversations around misinformation as we are in election season. She goes on to say that because disinformation causes people to act in real life we have to pay close attention to it.
So, what can we do? As Black women continue to be strong, leading voices in the community, we must be the ones to lead the charge to drown out the bad actors that look to spread inaccurate information.
Don’t be afraid to call out incorrect information. It is going to take all of us to fact check information that is spread online. We must only share information that we receive and read from trusted sources.
We must be responsible for our own digital literacy. Just as every book in the library is not one with trusted information, it is the same idea for websites. We know that some content is printed with the explicit purpose of adding to confusion and the spread of false information. Simply because something is printed does not mean it is accurate.
Become someone that provides information that is accurate and vetted. This is not the time to sit on the sidelines. Find a political home that not only fuels your soul but amplifies accurate information for the betterment of our communities.
Nse Ufot is Executive Director of the New Georgia Project.