Misinformation is a growing danger — one that’s increasingly difficult to spot. It moves at lightning speed, with one MIT study showing that false news spreads much more rapidly on Twitter than real news does.
The top 5 ways you can fight climate change myths
- Ignore conspiracy theories on the Internet. Don’t give them more life by expressing them and spreading them further.
- Don’t repeat the lie. If you want to address a false claim, don’t repeat the lie itself, which can actually end up amplifying it.
- Make a “truth sandwich.” Combat myths with the truth, then correct the lie without repeating it, and finish with more truth.
- Don’t use partisan language or sources. They can cause people to tune out completely, which is the opposite of winning.
- Sign up and speak up. Use credible sources and scientific studies to contradict the lies with facts, and sign up for the Misinformation Brigade so we can notify you when your help is needed.
How to identify a suspicious post
If something catches your eye that doesn’t seem quite right — especially articles or posts that provoke strong emotions like anger or fear — run through this list of questions before sharing it online:
- Do you recognize the source? Does it reference one that you can easily find?
- Does the information in the post seem believable?
- Is it written in the style you’d expect from a professional news organization?
How to verify articles and social media posts
If you answered no to any of the questions above, you can use any of these sites to double-check the facts:
- Climate Feedback is a worldwide network of scientists sorting fact from fiction in climate change media coverage.
- PolitiFact is part of the nonprofit Poynter Institute, focused on politics.
- Fact checker is run by the award-winning, fact-checking team at the Washington Post.
- Snopes.com is one of the oldest and largest fact-checking sites online.
- Lead Stories was co-founded by a registered Independent and a registered Republican, so it might be more trustworthy for conservatives.