Fake news, ignorance and lack of empathy
Updated: Jun 6
By: Catalina Jiménez - Director & Founder, Sentidos Comunicaciones
Article published in Forbes
In moments of crisis, having information supported by real events gives us the criteria as to not share memes that trivialize the situation, or false news that increases panic.
Profound changes and crises are being experienced throughout the world. We are facing possible movements that will lead to a new world order. This is not an isolated event, which occurred in a horror movie; on the contrary, it is about events previously experienced with different actors and in different regions of the planet; in other centuries, in other decades, that today return to the scene. Once again the fight to be the strongest, to be right prevails. Some countries are at war in the face of the expectant gaze of another part of humanity that acts as a spectator; In other areas, women are forced to stay at home and abandon their studies and jobs. In my country, the feeling of violence breathing down our necks has been a constant, although some of us have been able to live “away” to a great extent from the terror that millions of compatriots suffer and live. As humanity, any act of violence should shock us to the depths of our being. We, the viewers, with the relative knowledge that we can have about what is happening, follow the latest news from our cell phones, and share the information and videos that reach us and that almost always manage to really move us. It is our obligation to know the history, inform ourselves and verify what we "consume" so that what we share does not generate even more chaos.
“People who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it”
a phrase awarded to various authors and that in every point of the planet becomes a sentence, today more alive than ever.
Knowing our history
I have thought a lot about what the rest of us mortals can do while wars and crises occur before our eyes; We can donate, of course, there are several foundations and NGOs, collecting help for children, victims, and the civilian population; we also have the alternative of sending our positive thoughts and good energy. From different religions and beliefs, we can share those prayers so that what is lived here or there does not worsen and there are no more victims. But also, we contribute our little grain of sand by informing ourselves, by knowing what this implies, by understanding its scope, by reviewing history, and above all by escaping from false news and with this, helping to build societies with criteria and with some luck, and for the generations that we are an example, human beings with greater compassion for the other and with no desire to repeat the failures of the past. 56.4% of Internet users say they are concerned about not knowing what is true and what is not about the news they consult through social networks according to the 2021 Digital report . Reality shows that through these platforms, 64.5% of users receive last-minute information to find out about what is happening in the world; however, the amount of content that is generated is such that it is not always easy to identify its veracity, and furthermore, in just moments they are shared by many people without greater rigor. In the face of events such as the ones we are currently witnessing, and in general, throughout our behavior on social networks and on the Internet, we must always resort to true sources, contrast opinions, and know the world's personal and local history, to be able to take informed positions. Having real information based on facts may give us empathy so as not to share memes that trivialize the situation, or false news that increases panic without responsibility.
The consulting firm Gartner highlighted in its report 'Technology Predictions' made a couple of years ago, that by 2022 most Western countries will consume more false information than real news, however, the advisor also reports that in response to this behavior by 2023, up to 30% of the world's news and video content will be verified using blockchain technology and thus counteract the famous 'fake news'. Perhaps the fact of being adequately informed allows us to have sufficient criteria so as to not repeat models and tragic stories that were believed to have been overcome. Perhaps and with great luck, being well informed allows us to teach our children to recognize their own history, their people, that of the victims, and this will bring us a generation full of empathy, reluctant to make the same mistakes, and hopeful being able to do something better and rewriting history from another angle. I want to invite you to build criteria, from information, from contrasting sources, not sharing garbage, to be aware that from our place "far or near" to certain global or regional events, it somehow impacts the people around us and it helps to know what is really happening, so that future generations understand what it means to make intentional decisions from the desire for power, from the desire to win, in a race where it is certain that we will all lose. Let's not promote misinformation, lack of empathy, and disconnection with reality and what so many live from our devices; Let's use the information with respect, check sources and share only true and verified information. May our clicks add up and not subtract.