These days it can be hard to discern whether information online is legitimate, and learning how to find legitimate sources is a tool of ever-growing importance. Being in the online marketing world means that I, too, have to ensure that the information that I am receiving and the information that I am giving is correct and current yet, I know that the line can sometimes be hard to define. In this post I will be giving you some tips on how to discern if the information that you are receiving is legitimate and I will also share some verified sources with you so that you can ensure you are giving factual information in your content.
I can't tell you how much of a pet peeve it is to see misinformation spread on social media, I sometimes want to pull my hair out (and I wish I could pull theirs too) when I see people in the public arena share things that are so blatantly made up!!
Of course... I then try to remember that when I first started out there were so many things that I didn't know and that I had to look up. Things that I know are wrong today, seemed legit when I first came upon them years ago. Maybe you have gone through this process as well?
I have put a lot of time into learning about nutrition, marketing, and mental health; topics which I talk about often in my posts. These are topics that are also big fountains of ~WHOO~ filled with "gurus" sharing nonsensical information.
While some of the information that is spread is innocent, some of it can actually be physically harmful and in the world of business ->>> career ending.
When I first started learning about coaching, the first thing I searched was the Ethics involved, I asked myself if this coaching thing itself was legit or if I was being reeled into a scam profession. I was glad to find out that there were real guidelines and processes set in place for this field. While anyone can call themselves a coach, the field of coaching has specific regulations and follows strict ethical rules. Learn what coaching really is here.
So how can YOU, figure out if what you are learning is Whoo or Lies??? Try these techniques:
1. Search for Logical Fallacies
2. Search for Marketing Gimmicks
3. Search for the Real Source
4. Search for Intent
You may or may not have learned these in highschool or in college. The use of them didn't seem as important back then because I was surrounded by pretty legitimate information sources and I gullibly beleived that people didn't intentionally try to misinform people in real life. As we may have learned from last year's "fake news" scandals, there are many people who purposefully distribute misinformation. It is important to learn how to recognize these arguments and to avoid using them in our own content.
According to Purdue Fallacies are "common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim." There are 12 basic fallacies with the following names:
This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don't want Z to occur, A must not be allowed to occur either. Example:
In this example, the author is basing his evaluation of the entire course on only the first day, which is notoriously boring and full of housekeeping tasks for most courses. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation the author must attend not one but several classes, and possibly even examine the textbook, talk to the professor, or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order to have sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on.
In this example, the author assumes that if one event chronologically follows another the first event must have caused the second. But the illness could have been caused by the burrito the night before, a flu bug that had been working on the body for days, or a chemical spill across campus. There is no reason, without more evidence, to assume the water caused the person to be sick.
Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would be logical. But the very conclusion that should be proved, that coal causes enough pollution to warrant banning its use, is already assumed in the claim by referring to it as "filthy and polluting."