Politically speaking, if you want to see how the extreme other end of the spectrum lives, go spend five minutes on the Reddit subreddit dedicated to president Donald Trump.
Here’s the link: https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/
Go ahead. I’ll just wait here.
Done? Need to bleach your eyes? I can’t blame you. It’s really, really hard to read content you know is false that is being passed off as truth, while, at the same time, you watch an entire community of people radicalize around untruths. These same people log off from their computers and then go interact with those around them in the same communities in which you and I live.
It’s not a stretch to think they try to impart their fake beliefs on other, weak-minded individuals they encounter in their day-to-day lives. And, no matter how ludicrous these beliefs are, all it takes is one person to believe to continue a false narrative.
That’s why fighting for the truth is so important.
I used to think I was a jerk for calling out friends and family members for sharing fake news that could easily be debunked with a simple search on Snopes.com.
No one ever thanked me for showing them the error of their ways. If anything, they secretly despised me for the public shaming and doubled-down on their path toward ignorance.
But in my mind, I was doing what I thought was right.
Put it this way: If your child’s math teacher constantly taught your son or daughter that 2+2 = 5, to the point where they believed it, I think you would take issue with the legitimacy of the teacher.
So why are we not showing the same outrage when ideas and stories that are clearly false are spread rampantly?
Just like being taught the wrong answer to math problems, there are real consequences when an internet subculture tries to brainwash others into believing in the lies.
If anything, we need to be skeptical of everything we see and hear, all the while giving a slight edge to those institutions that have earned the right to be trusted.
So, I give you permission to fight for the truth, even if you think nobody listens.
Read it. Share it. Flout it.
One day we might look back and wonder when we lost this privilege.
Do your part.