Skip to content

How to avoid sharing bad information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Already, bad news about the Russian invasion has found a large audience on platforms designed primarily to promote engaging content.

On TikTok, a video of a 2016 training exercise was re-released to give the false impression that Russian soldiers were parachuting into Ukraine; It was viewed millions of times. The misinterpretation of the statement, which was widely circulated on Twitter, and was shared by reporters, falsely stated that the battle near Chernobyl had disrupted the nuclear waste disposal site (the original statement was in fact Warned That fight Can Disrupt nuclear waste).

Harmful propaganda and misinformation are often inadvertently spread as people face the fire of breaking news and interact with viral posts about a terrible event. This guide is for people who want to avoid helping bad artists.

We’ve published some of this advice before the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and before the US election later that year. The following information has been updated and expanded to cover some of the highlights of the news coming out of Ukraine.

Your attention is important …

First, understand that what you do online makes a difference. “People often think that because they are not influential, they are not politicians, they are not journalists, whatever they do. [online] It doesn’t matter, “Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, told me in 2020. But it does matter. Sharing suspicious information with even a small circle of friends and family can spread it widely.

… And so do your angry quote tweets and duet songs.

When an instant news story is evolving, well-meaning people can tweet, tweet, share or duet with a post on social media to challenge and condemn it. Twitter and Facebook have introduced new rules, arbitration tactics and fact-finding provisions to combat misinformation. But communicate with misinformation At all The risk of amplifying the content you are trying to minimize, as it signals to the platform that you find it interesting. Instead of linking to a post you know is wrong, try flagging it for review by the platform where you saw it.


Digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield has developed a method for evaluating information online which he calls SIFT: “Stop, investigate the source, find better coverage and trace claims, quotes and media in the original context.” When it comes to news about Ukraine, he says, the emphasis should be on “stop” – that is, pause before you respond or share what you see.

“There’s a human impulse to be the first person in your group to share a story and be the first to report it,” he says. And while this impulse is a daily crisis for journalists, it applies to everyone, especially during moments of information overload.

Shirin Mitchell, a disinformation researcher and digital analyst, says that if you want to get news about Ukraine and do something to help, “all you have to do is follow the people of Ukraine who are aware of what is happening to them.” Tells stories. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.