The Pro-Truth Pledge
I Pledge My Earnest Efforts To:
- Verify: fact-check information to confirm it is true before accepting and sharing it
- Balance: share the whole truth, even if some aspects do not support my opinion
- Cite: share my sources so that others can verify my information
- Clarify: distinguish between my opinion and the facts
- Acknowledge: acknowledge when others share true information, even when we disagree otherwise
- Reevaluate: reevaluate if my information is challenged, retract it if I cannot verify it
- Defend: defend others when they come under attack for sharing true information, even when we disagree otherwise
- Align: align my opinions and my actions with true information
- Fix: ask people to retract information that reliable sources have disproved even if they are my allies
- Educate: compassionately inform those around me to stop using unreliable sources even if these sources support my opinion
- Defer: recognize the opinions of experts as more likely to be accurate when the facts are disputed
- Celebrate: celebrate those who retract incorrect statements and update their beliefs toward the truth
I was thinking about writing something like this, and then I found someone had already done it a few years ago better than I could. I’m intentionally not posting a link to the organization responsible, because I’m hoping you’ll read the WORDS rather than checking out who’s backing the project. They’re good words.
This is a personal thing. I’d like y’all to think about this. When you share information on social media, you are telling your friends and acquaintances that YOU believe it is accurate. I’m not talking about biased media and biased Facebook algorithms here, I’m talking about what each one of us, personally, is doing to spread true or false information to our own friends.
Take the extra effort. Your friends are trusting you to get things right. So especially on controversial topics, please at least do a cursory check to find out whether you’re about to spread fake news.
Because the way things are right now, we can’t trust any news source. Be the person your friends can trust.