June is designated as Internet Safety Month. This year’s theme is responsible post sharing. There’s a lot of misinformation spread online by individuals as well as by the media. It’s not just news related, either. Don’t worry! Your good friends here at LawDroid aren’t getting political. There’s also a lot of misinformation spread about internet safety, malware, viruses, artificial intelligence (the robots still won’t be coming to take your jobs away any time soon, lawyers; AI only exists to make running your practice easier), and misinformation about technology as well as law.
Why Must We Understand the Basics of Responsible Post Sharing?
The internet is both a great tool as well as a terrible tool because we have the ability to get practically any information we want at any time. The problem is we can find any information to support any point…even if that information isn’t exactly truthful or well-supported. We all know someone (and we’ve also all done it at least once) who shares images that aren’t entirely factual. We all know someone (and we’ve all also done it at least once) who shares a news link without reading it. Remember that lost dog or child who was found three years ago and we would have know if we just clicked the link and saw it was four years ago and the story was archived or updated to “Found!”?
Of course, some slightly misinformed post-sharing is less dangerous and less scary than others. We all know someone who gets really worried and posts the “copied and pasted from my neighbor’s sister’s mother’s cousin’s half sister’s spouse’s brother’s neighbor who is a lawyer who said I have to post this thing about how [Social Media Platform] can’t use any of my content or pictures!” And we all know it doesn’t work that way and that they agreed to the terms of service when they signed up. Again, not dangerous…but that sort of thing really scares people…and it’s misinformed.
Then there are the people who do things that could really harm them because something was said in a video or written in an article and they believe it inferred they should do something to protect themselves or their equipment. The video or article went viral or an image was made.
This is why it becomes important to understand the basics of responsible post sharing: to slow the spread of false and sometimes dangerous misinformation.
The Basics of Responsible Post Sharing
To help ensure that you’re sharing responsible information:
- Review the information first. Never share something because it was sent to you by someone you like.
- Always read the article (make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date; when in doubt, just don’t share it. Delete it or look for it on a reputable site) or look for the information on a reputable site.
- Look for the author name, when the site was last updated, and whether you have a way to verify the information presented on external sites. Never assume the information presented.
- Look for the information on another credible website. Go through the same test: look for an author name, look to determine when the information was last updated, an again look to verify the information on another external site.
Internet Safety Month is all about ensuring we learn how to responsibly share posts with others! Make the pledge to verify any and all information you share with others to the best of your ability.
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