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Education Blueprint to Defeat Red Scare Extremists
All heroes don’t wear capes.
Thanks to you all who have stayed the course in this series. It’s only fitting to conclude it with ways that you yourself can help lessen the traffic and momentum of these tactics. The major theme that we have to contend with in an effort to combat this mis-, dis- information is the problem of human nature, the fake news ecosystem preys on some of our deepest human instincts. Those that are susceptible to fake news seek to belong, to feel power and their need for survival and anything they deem as a threat to their survival should be eliminated. However, it is also human nature to come together and fix things. There has to be a coalition of organizations, people working collectively to help end this information divide.
That begins here.
“Misinformation is not like a plumbing problem you fix. It is a social condition, like crime, that you must constantly monitor and adjust to.” – Tom Rosentiel
We as concerned citizens must stay vigilant in being active within our communities and all spaces we have access to. It is up to the few remaining good actors to find ways to enhance the information environment. They also believe better information literacy among citizens will enable people to judge the veracity of material content and eventually raise the tone of discourse. The best way to help you and your community members to assess the origin of factual information versus disinformation are listed below:
Consider the source: click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission, and its contact information
Read beyond: Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What’s the whole story?
Check the author: do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?
Supporting sources: click on those links. Determine if the information given actually supports the story.
Check the date: reposting old news stories doesn’t mean they are relevant to current events.
Is it a joke? If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure
Check your biases: consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgment
Ask the experts - ask a librarian, or consult a fact checking website
Share the above tips and continue to do your due diligence in being informed. In order to change the narrative of these extremists we must change the narrator and the only way to accomplish this is by speaking up and speaking often starting in our own backyards. I am excited about the opportunity to continue being the voice of resistance fighting against the Christian nationalist movement. Thank you for your continued engagement.
“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” -Malcom X