Battling Misinformation Responsibly?
In today’s digital society, the prevalence of misinformation has become a significant concern for many individuals. With the rise of social media platforms, anyone can easily share information with a global audience, resulting in a massive influx of news stories. Unfortunately, this has also led to harmful media content, including fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech. As a result, social media companies have implemented algorithms and preventative measures to combat this issue.
The question of who is to blame for misinformation arises. Is it the social media companies who should be held responsible, or the users themselves? In my opinion, the responsibility for battling misinformation cannot be solely placed on either party. Instead, it requires a multi-faceted approach, including media and information literacy education, responsible use of social media platforms, and effective measures by social media companies to combat misinformation.
Media and information literacy is a life skill that primarily focuses on an individual’s identity and how to navigate the information haze and protect oneself from the ill effects of information disorder. The critical study of media messages has always been focused on media education. The basic idea behind media literacy is that media messages are constructed with embedded values and viewpoints with a profit motive and decoded differently by individuals. Scholars have always enveloped media literacy as an idea to access, analyse, evaluate, and create media messages. Ultimately, the key to combating misinformation is empowering individuals to critically analyse media messages and make informed decisions about the information they consume and share.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has been testing a monthly subscription for verifying accounts to get a blue badge. Earlier, these badges were given on the basis of their status as influential personalities, public figures like celebrities, journalists, and politicians. However, this minor tweak may have changed the whole meaning of the blue badge. It is essential to ensure that verified accounts are credible sources of information. While this change may be aimed at growing content creators and building communities, it should not compromise the public’s ability to mitigate misinformation.