Your Information May Be Incorrect, Want to Know Why?

Your Information May Be Incorrect, Want to Know Why?
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Have you ever been taken in by social media hoaxes? Have you ever been swayed by opinions spread on social media?

Who hasn't immersed themselves in the world of social media these days? The virtual world that has become part of our daily lives and has made us more connected also brings great threats. In the midst of the information explosion that is sweeping the world today, warnings about the dangers of misinformation and disinformation are becoming increasingly urgent.

You've heard of them, right? Misinformation is information that is untrue or inaccurate, but the person spreading it believes it to be true. People are often caught in a maze of inaccurate information, creating widespread doubt and uncertainty about the truth. 

Misinformation can occur because of misinterpretation of information received, or because someone simply wants to spread information without realizing that it is fake news or a hoax. While misinformation is usually not intended to deceive or harm others, it can unfortunately cause harm if the information is used as a basis for making decisions.

Disinformation, on the other hand, is information that is deliberately manipulated and disseminated with the intent to deceive the recipient. Disinformation can be created to influence public opinion or to harm others. Unlike the former, disinformation is often created by manipulating facts or omitting important information so that the information disseminated is inaccurate or misleading. From rampant conspiracy theories to targeted propaganda, the challenges modern societies face in sorting out fact from misinformation are becoming increasingly complex. 

One possible way to do this is through decontextualization, the removal of the context or background of information or events. This can make the information or event ambiguous or difficult to understand. For example, by displaying factual information, but the time displayed is not real time.

This also exposes a person to spoofing, which is online fraud through various Internet platforms. Spoofing can occur through websites or through messages in social media groups. If you are not careful, spoofing can have serious consequences, such as data theft, theft of money, or damage to your device or server security systems. For example, scammers can create a fake website that resembles a real website to request personal information or send malicious links.

Literacy in Southeast Asian Societies

Graph from Goodstats

The graph shows the literacy levels of Southeast Asian countries. It is measured by combining information from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). This assessment is conducted by the UIS through population censuses or household surveys, where the head of the household acts as a respondent, answering questions related to the literacy skills of his or her family members. In this case, it refers to the ability to read and write simple statements related to daily life.

However, the assessment method does not measure in-depth an individual's ability to receive information. On the other hand, countries in the Southeast Asian region have high Internet penetration rates. This condition makes the region very strategic for the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

Internet penetration of Southeast Asian countries in percent. Graph from databoks

In fact, the ability to read is very different from the ability to be literate.  When a person reads, they only do the reading process and understand the content of the text. Reading literacy, on the other hand, involves an individual's ability to more deeply understand, interpret, and process information in reading in order to achieve specific goals, develop understanding and potential, and actively participate in social contexts. Therefore, reading literacy plays a crucial role in improving one's ability to understand information and interact in society.

Read More Wisely!

In the midst of this complexity, the realization of the importance of information intelligence and a wise approach to the consumption and dissemination of news has become increasingly important. Thus, understanding the source of information, evaluating its validity, and adopting a critical attitude toward what we receive become the main foundation for dealing with the constant flow of information around us.

Increasing the frequency of reading is indeed a strategy to avoid the trap of misleading information. However, it is also important for us to carefully examine the content of the reading material and to conduct a thorough analysis of the information we consume. 

This is important so that we are able to distinguish between sources of information that are truly reliable as facts and sources that may have a hidden agenda to deceive readers. For more information, visit the following link to get an in-depth understanding of misinformation and disinformation issues.

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