For General Public

Countries that are resilient to disinformation and foreign influence rely on whole-of-society approaches focused on digital literacy and awareness of disinformation tactics. Here are some tips and additional resources to protect yourself and your networks from disinformation.

1. Actively seek out information online from multiple authoritative sources.  Information you seek out directly will usually be of higher quality than what you absorb passively on social media. Notice what percentage of your time you spend on authoritative news sites as opposed to news you get from social media. NewsGuard and MediaBiasFactCheck.com have a comprehensive set of ratings of news outlets for partisanship and fact-based reporting. Install the NewsGuard browser plugin to help you navigate news sources online.

2. Ask yourself who the author of online content is, why they posted the information, and what they are hoping you will do with it. Scrutinize the information you read before you share, especially if it confirms what you already believe to be true. Social media transparency features may be able to help you establish context.

3. Avoid being manipulated by divisive or dishonest content. Often times, social media tends to reward the most outrageous and often false take on any event. When you share, make sure you are sharing content that is true and helpful to others, not as a knee-jerk reaction to content that angers or scares you.

4. If you see something untrue on social media, try to inject truth into the debate without attacking the sharer (they may be a victim of false content themselves). Fact-checkers like Snopes, AP FactCheck, PolitiFact, Factcheck.org, and Lead Stories may be able to help.

5. Educate yourself on the tactics of online manipulators.