Five Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Disinformation

To fight disinformation, you must cultivate your consciousness and develop your own criteria. This is important so you don't become anyone’s puppet.
Five Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Disinformation
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Nowadays, people just want to be busy and entertained. We’ve found ourselves in a paradox because, looking back, there’s never been a time where we’ve had as many distractions as now. However, being on cloud nine forever has consequences such as becoming a victim of disinformation.

We’ve never received as much information as we do nowadays. There’s information everywhere you look, but many of it is fake or distorted.

“I’m telling a lie in a vicious effort that you will repeat my lie over and over until it becomes true.”

-Lady Gaga-

Disinformation can have very serious consequences, especially in politics. Mainly during election campaigns, there’s a lot of disinformation about sensible topics, and many people sympathize with or become indifferent to their environment. This is a strategy.

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of disinformation?

1. Filter your thoughts

Train your awareness to help you determine what’s worth to know. You like baseball, for example, but don’t think about it too much. Try to define what you need to know, not what you want to know.

You need to know the things that affect you directly. If you want to fight disinformation, give priority to those topics. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time with irrelevant, although interesting, information.

An iPhone menu.

2. Filter your sources

This is one of the most effective ways to avoid becoming a victim of disinformation. Nowadays, it’s more important who says what, rather than what is said. Anybody can spread falsehoods that become viral and people end up believing to be true.

Choose your sources carefully. Sources should be responsible. You don’t need to follow big media sources only, although they might misinform you too. Just choose sites or people with a good reputation. These sources aren’t infallible, but they’ll be more responsible with what’s being said. That’s the best way to avoid being deceived.

3. Read books to fight disinformation

Most of the time, books are trustworthy. Writing a book is harder than spreading a rumor on social media. It takes a lot more work. You should also take into account the editorial that published it.

Books are excellent sources of information, especially about controversial topics. Authors with professional careers or literary recognition might write the best books. Books can give you something else besides information: they help you form an opinion.

4. Use your critical thinking

Criticism isn’t really about pointing out the negative things in something or someone. Criticism is about assessing information and developing your critical thinking. The best way to do so is by having some criteria and not believing anything you’re told.

Think about the motives behind the information you’re given. Maybe they’re trying to impress you or condition your view of the world. Are their arguments valid or just built over weak and isolated evidence? Being skeptical helps you develop critical thinking.

5. Cultivate your consciousness

Some people have a tendency of not wanting to know anything. Sometimes you want to stay on cloud nine, do whatever implies the least thought.

That’s unhealthy. Although you don’t have to live worried about everything or be too self-conscious, you need to find a balance. Cultivate your consciousness to focus on what really matters and stop wasting your time with what isn’t important.

Don’t fall victim to disinformation. You’ll lose your freedom, as well as the chance of having a lucid and determined mind. That’s why you need to filter information. This will allow you to boost your consciousness and make better decisions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Arriagada, H. F. G. (2013). Desinformación en Internet y hegemonía en redes sociales. Gestión de las Personas y Tecnología, (16), 26-34.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.