Most of us have seen and heard the same anti-vax and anti-mask propaganda as the people whose stories are featured here. The main difference is that we know what information is accurate and what is not. The anti-vaxxers have it all backwards, but they think that they're the smart ones.
Please describe the critical thinking skills you've been using to differentiate between legitimate information and misinformation.
Please feel free to copy and pass along this meme:
Misspellings, bad grammar and punctuation. Raw numbers instead of rates. Extreme positions and sweeping generalization. No acknowledgment of competing views or refutation only of obvious strawmen. Making heroes and villains out of people. Emotional calls to action. And finally, if I think "That's exactly right!" I become a little suspicious of confirmation bias.
Journalism degree, studied advertising and public relations. I stick with mainstream news sources. While they sometimes make mistakes, they do issue retractions-something questionable news sources never do. I watch for "value judgments," which don't belong in straight news pieces. If I read something from a non-msm source, I check the pages location. I also Google sources and go far enough down the results page to avoid biased results caused by search engine optimization.
College educated. Writing degree, which means you minor in Lit. I’m a reader forever. I read everything and consider the source. Also I worked for a medical research company specializing in infant vaccines. I formed a lot of opinions about vaccine safety and efficacy. And medical research. I never met a person in that field who was not an ethical person, NOT ONE. I believe the people I worked with there were working to save lives, and I was proud of my role there.
It’s called critical thinking skills.
The meme isn't great because the two are identical. Misinformation isn't a copy-paste of information. Saying they 'are' information or are 'named' information makes them both 'Miss' information. Unless one is a Mrs.
It's not a well designed meme.
Everything is misinformation until it is cited and verified from a credible source. I usually google the thing and add 'snopes' or 'fact check' at the end of the google query. Any time I'm about to learn a new thing, first thing I ask is "is it true." Plausibility isn't automatically truth.
I get suspicious if a source is trying to make me mad or afraid, so I fact-check. Also, sources: My online reading has helped me spot dubious sources. For some years, I followed the ScienceBasedMedicine blog, which helps me spot quackery and health bullshit.
Without doxxing myself too much...
While I am an attorney by profession, my undergraduate degree is in an engineering field, and I've been a lifelong obsessive self-learner of all things involving science and technology. My work as an attorney has taught me to be very skeptical of everything absent the actual proof, to not trust second-hand information. My science background gives me enough to think "this seems off". Not being a dumbass gives me enough to think "Why would I believe anything a chiropractor says about an infectious disease?"
I trust experts. I'm an expert in a specific area of law; if you want advice in that area and you DON'T listen to me, well, you're dumb, because I know what I'm talking about. I extend that to other experts in other fields, and consider the source of information.
My science education was basic, but I enjoy reading the various on-line science websites. Ars Tech is favourite, and El Reg, Phys Org, NewsNow/Science, etc.
I don't do FB, Twit, or any others. (Apart from recently developing a strange fascination for reading Reddit Aviation subs.)
The Guardian or BBC were my news sites - until Ukraine, now I can't stomach main-stream news.
I don't have a television.
So I don't really encounter much misinformation. doG I'm boring lol.😑
Not very scientific, but as a start, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is not true. I BLOCK people on Twitter who post things that are inaccurate, even if it is from a Dem standpoint, like the meme where Trump says he would run as a Republican if he ever ran, because they are stupid. He never said that.
Here is a new version of the meme in the opening comment.
Slightly OT but I have just discovered this Fb page on antivaxx, woo and general insanity. Very funny but probably not for the squeamish.
Similar to MucusPlug - science degree and career. Makes it trivial to spot the bogus junk the right pulls with claims of magnetism when most spoons aren’t magnetic anyway. Also makes it easy to understand why masks can be an effective barrier, why covid spread is just a matter of probabilities, etc.
So much of what the AV crowd spouted off about is obviously wrong by simple inspection. You hear them say it but it violates everything you know. It kind of insulates you from their absurd bullshit because warning bells go off pretty early in most anything the AVers say because it’s just so wrong.
I have a college education & a medical background. I worked through prior pandemics. I knew how things were supposed to work so I knew how fucked up trumps response to the pandemic was, in real time. I trusted Dr. Fauci but I trusted my own knowledge & I've always used the better safe than sorry method of decision making professionally, so that's what I've done all along to be safer now. We have worn masks since early March 2020, before the pandemic was declared a pandemic. We haven't let our guard down. We're in a red rural area with morons & hillbillies, unvaccinated disease vectors unmasked everywhere. If questionable information crosses my path I look to see where it came from. Who wrote it? Who financed it? I only trust legitimate sources of information. It hasn't been difficult separating the wheat from the chaff for me & my husband trusts my medical judgement & he does what I tell him to do to keep us both safe.