How Do You Talk to Friends and Family Who Share Misinformation?

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Before you attempt to correct someone who has shared what you believe to be misinformation, try to fact-check the story yourself. (Journolink / Flickr)

This tip sheet was originally published by PEN America. It has been republished with permission.

You might know the feeling: You see your aunt, cousin or friend share something on Facebook, but you doubt the information is true. And if that information is about a critical issue like COVID-19, an election, or a political candidate, you may feel compelled to respond. But what is the best way to do so?

While some people create and spread disinformation—false information shared with the intent to deceive others—your friends and family may well spread misinformation, which is shared by people who may not know the information is false. They probably think the content is true, and they may feel they’re sharing something…

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