Circles of trust on social media

Not everything shared on Facebook is true. At times, what is shared is wrong. This is either because there was a mistake in the gathering or presentation or facts or there is a deliberate intent to mislead.

The approaches to these two errors are different: Mistakes in reporting we correct; disinformation we fight.

Disinformation is spread on social media for partisan, personal, and even commercial reasons. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from disinformation but the first thing to do should be to gauge your level of trust on the one sharing it.

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Sunog and disinformation

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia asked reporters about “sunog” in a recent press conference. This was in relation to a story based on a social media post that was eventually deleted. The reporters told her the common term now is “kuryente.”

When I was active on the field, it was “sunog.” You get burned by a story or a news source. There is implicit trust between you as a reporter and a news source. When you are fed wrong information, that trust is burned. Nasunog. You get burned by the experience. Nasunog. Mag kisi kisi ka, nakuryente.

I can’t recall getting sunog by a news source. An editor, yes (gidaoban pa, but that’s for another blog post), but news source, no. Senior journalists in the newsroom would tell me whether a source was trustworthy or not. As I gained experience, I managed to tell by intuition and confirm by verification.

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