Misinfo Monday: It’s Been Real (A Little Too Real)

Xavier Harding

By Xavier Harding | Nov. 16, 2020 | Advocacy

Misinfo Monday

— Misinfo Monday is a weekly series by Mozilla where we give you the tools, tips and tricks needed to cut the crap and find the truth. For more, check back weekly on our blog or on our Instagram. —

As the U.S. election comes to a close, so too will Misinfo Monday.

We’ll be putting a lid on the weekly release of the series, sharing instead timely bulletins as new forms of misinformation appear. In the meantime, we know election-related misinformation continues to run rampant and we expect COVID misinformation (including vaccine misinfo) to circulate widely.

To keep you ready to tackle this misinformation climate, we wanted to remind you of the most effective and important steps you can take to curb viral misinformation. The advice here is just as important during your day-to-day internet browsing as it is during election or other high-profile event.

Your Misinfo Monday Refresher

  • Disinformation Is Crap — Misinformation is false information spread by mistake. Disinformation is false information spread on purpose. Your response should vary depending on the type of false information shared — and by whom.
  • Algorithms Can Serve You Misinformation — Recommendation engines powered by AI can lead you astray. Just because you see something at the top of your feed on Facebook or recommended to you on YouTube doesn’t mean it’s credible.
  • Amplifying Misinfo, Even When Labeled, Can Be Harmful — Be careful re-sharing false posts, even if you’re doing so to poke fun or call them out. We all know many people read just the headline and nothing else.

Tips & Techniques You Can Use

  • How To Tell Fact From Falsehood — Did a news story garner an emotional reaction (good or bad) out of you? Odds are it was written in a way to do exactly that. Take a beat and clear your head before sharing it immediately.
  • Help Your Friends Cut the Crap — We all have those friends who insist on sharing eye roll-inducing content. Here’s how you handle those moments when they fill your feed with 💩.
  • Deepfakes And Other Trickery In Imagery — Deepfakes are a less common form of misinformation, but still worth watching out for. Old images resurfaced with false captions are more prevalent. Unmask these imposter images by running a reverse image search.
  • How To Report Misleading Information — Your one-stop shop for finding out how to report misleading information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
  • Finally, Find The Truth — Looking for a site to help you fact check? Here are nine. When you come across a story during your daily browsing that you’re unsure about, run it against one of these sites.

The fight is never finished when it comes to misinformation. The good news is that you know exactly how to handle misinformation and do your part to stop its spread when it comes your way.

Here’s to cutting the crap and finding the truth! Misinfo Monday, out.