Truth Not Lies: How to Responsibly Share News on Social Media

Truth Not Lies: How to Responsibly Share News on Social Media January 17, 2020

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The election year has started off with an impeachment bang, and everyone has an opinion—nay, OPINIONS!—about both. Thankfully we can all access the latest facts online before we talk amongst ourselves.

Why are you laughing at me?

Okay, okay, it was a joke. It’s true, though, that the facts are out there on all the sites we access for news. It’s also true that the facts are obscured in spin. Each news outlet or network has a tendency toward right or left, conservative or liberal. As do each of us, depending on our priorities and convictions. On both my Facebook and Twitter feeds, pro-Trump memes and anti-Trump articles follow in succession. What can I say—I’m an Enneagram 9 peacemaker who befriends folks on all sides of issues. I like to think they all feel safe with me though occasionally uncomfortable.

Why? Because they know I will not insult them when I disagree with them. Nor will I allow them to sit in an echo chamber.

I have thoughts on this business of sharing online content, particularly political news. As a Christian, I believe truth matters. We all have a responsibility to disseminate content truthfully. We are responsible for what we share because it has the potential to influence the viewer on the other side. If I knowingly share a post that contains lies, proven exaggerations, or baseless name-calling, I have not contributed to the public discourse in a helpful, holy way. In fact, I’ve given credibility to falsehoods and deception. Not exactly my calling as a Christ-follower.

And when I unknowingly do this and am confronted with the truth, it’s my duty to take down the untrue post. Just delete it without comment. It goes away, and I can try to do better next time.

Due to the inherent spin within almost any content, I may not get it right 100% of the time, but I can score pretty high using best practices like these:

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