Think before you share


That’s the clear message from Merseyside’s Police & Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell who has joined forces with local authorities across the region to encourage residents to think carefully before sharing information online.

The campaign advises individuals to be cautious when accessing information on the internet and social media and reminds people that not everything presented as fact is true. Importantly people are being urged to not only view information with caution but consider this simple checklist as a prompt BEFORE sharing information online or in person.

Source – Does the information come from a trusted source? Is the person who sent it to you the originator of the information? If not, who is? Do you know them? Do you trust them? Checking these things can help you determine if a source is reliable.

Headline - Always read beyond the headline – they don’t always tell the full story. Always check the date and read to the end before you share articles with family and friends.

Analyse - If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Don’t assume because something is published online its fact. Anyone can put information online and not everyone shares information for a good reason.

Retouched - Does the image or video look as though it has been altered? It might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event.

Error - Look out for mistakes - typos, spelling mistakes or things that don’t make sense could indicate the information is false. Official guidance or things shared by trusted sources like the Police or the local authority will always have been carefully checked so should have no errors.

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell said: “We are seeing more and more examples of misinformation and rumour being circulated as fact online, often done with malicious intent or with a specific purpose of influencing other people’s opinions. This is something we all need to be aware of and have in the back of our minds when viewing information online. 

 “Unfortunately, as misinformation is often presented as fact and can spread quickly, we are seeing people innocently sharing this misinformation assuming it to be factual when it isn’t. This can have significant consequences for individuals and the wider community too and we have seen the impact of that here in Merseyside.

 “I would urge all of our communities to be mindful of what they share online and help us to stop damaging or malicious rumours to spread.”