3 Commitments for Fighting Disinformation

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Work hard. Never settle. Always push the status quo.

The namesake for the Allen H. Center Distinguished Lecture in Public Relations lived by this code. He wove it into every aspect of his life, particularly in his career as a public relations practitioner.

On March 10, the Broom Center called the community to action: to hold themselves accountable and set a new standard for the media profession.

More than 70 journalists, PR practitioners, students and concerned citizens answered that call to enlist in the fight for truth.

Together we forged a united front in the face of disinformation. Together we created a battle plan.

Here are our top three tactics to combat disinformation.

1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Sometimes our haste accelerates spreading disinformation. Don’t be that person. Do your research and check your facts. The speed at which we can share information makes it easy to pass along tweets, images and articles quickly. Don’t be so quick to retweet. Take a moment to dig a little deeper. Is the information you’re sharing with the public accurate?

2. If you see something, say something

Preventing the spread of disinformation isn’t just about holding ourselves accountable. We should hold our friends, family, colleagues and the media to the same standard. If you see someone close to you sharing inaccurate information, let that person know. If you see a media outlet or brand sharing inaccurate information, reach out to them. Don’t succumb to the bystander effect. Silence means acceptance, so push back against inaccuracies.

3. Unplug

Take the time to unplug. We are bombarded with information 24/7. Sometimes it is necessary to take a brief media break. Come back refreshed, focused and ready to view information through a different lens.

Storm the battlefield 

“We don’t have to be victims anymore,” said John Kirby, CNN analyst and Center Lecture keynote speaker.

He’s right. Disinformation will continue, but do your part to take charge and lead the battle against it.

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