Inoculation against fake news

 

Sir, – In the current environment it is easy for false information to be spread either accidentally or intentionally.

Recent experience in other countries has revealed that there are many people whose only job is to use social media to undermine the social cohesion and trust in democratic institutions in western democracies.

Small divisions in society are identified by such people and exploited.

Fortunately, Ireland is probably not high on the list of societies they wish to harm. But we should exercise caution nonetheless.

Our social media feeds can provide us with information, social contact, support, and encouragement over the coming weeks.

But they also have the capacity to spread harmful misinformation. In the coming days many of us will be tempted to immediately forward any information we receive without thinking.

But we should pause and consider the source.

We are blessed in Ireland with an open and transparent Government, and independent and thorough media outlets that are neither easily silenced nor duped. We should rely on them. – Yours, etc,

COLIN MANNING,

Lecturer in Computer

Science

and Cyber Ethics,

Cork Institute

of Technology.