• Dictionary.com’s 2018 word of the year is “Misinformation”. Misinformation is defined as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” Misinformation however is different than Disinformation. Disinformation is intentionally misleading or manipulating someone into believing something that is not true. So in reality the difference between these two words comes down to intent. Yet good or bad intentions do not change the truth.

    Truth has been a problem since man has first existed. Satan confronted Eve in Genesis 3 with a lie that when she believed and acted on it forever changed her relationship with God. The problem of finding truth has existed in every generation since. The Patriarchs were expected to tell the truth. The 10 commandments address telling the truth. Jesus addressed telling the truth. Yet many people understand the importance of telling the truth, however they continue to spread things that are false simply because they believe something that is false. In other words, it is very possible for someone to tell a lie and believe they are telling the truth.

    Our modern age of electronics has made misinformation much easier. We are constantly bombarded with political, social, and religious media online that is easily shared with a click of a button. This information is always presented as statement of fact and is presented in such a way that it appears to be true and sounds true. When we like what it stands for, we then with the click of a button spread that message to hundreds of more people. Are we sure that the message is true? Does it really matter to us if the message is true or not? Do we really want to know truth...or do we just want to spread our agenda and therefore will blindly accept anything that we want to be true as truth?

    The thing about misinformation is that it is everywhere and influences every aspect of life. The dangerous thing about misinformation is that the ones spreading it don’t even realize that it is not true, and the ones it is spread to then believe it is true as well and will continue spreading it. Misinformation then becomes viral. It spreads so quickly that we being to hear the same false thing over and over again from many different sources. Each time we hear that false information it gains a little more clout in our mind and we believe it is truth just a little more until we get to the point that we will not even listen to anyone who would dare challenge our pieces of misinformation that we have come to hold as truth.

    There are consequences to misinformation. When someone believes a piece of misinformation they then act based on something that is not true. It is a very much used tool in our world to manipulate masses of people into doing what someone wants done. For example, if someone wants masses of people to vote for them, they can spread a damaging disinformation about their opponent. They can know it is false, yet present it as true. Then people who hear that false, damaging truth begin to spread it without checking to see if it is valid or not. It then becomes misinformation— still false, but believed and spread as if it is truth. Then people will act based on false information.

    Have you ever considered the misinformation that surrounds the religious world? Many people spread false religious statements as if they were truth without ever making sure that they are true. Religion differs from many other things in this world in that we can easily find and know truth. We can go back to the word of God and study something to find whether or not it is true. Yet it is easier to spread misinformation than it is to search for truth. Searching for truth requires work. It requires that one consider the possibility that their view may be false. It requires that one have enough humility to admit that they were wrong and usually that they had spread that wrong to others as well.

    Everyone believes that they are right, and this leads to misinformation. Everyone believes that when they hear something that agrees with their position, it must be true, and this leads to misinformation. Everyone believes that when they hear something more than once that it for sure is truth and cannot be argued with, and this leads to misinformation. Let us not be used by the wickedness in the world to spread misinformation. Let us seek out and find truth before we spread something. Let us look to the true sources of truth so that we can know that what we are saying is truth. After all, truth sets us free. Misinformation makes us a slave to the one who is manipulating the information.

  • People like presentation more than they like truth. They want anyone they deal with to tailor the presentation to them, regardless of how uninformed or willfully ignorant they are. Then, if you happen to get through to them with some real truth that they are willing to adopt, they will claim it as their own... and you'll never be mentioned when they are using that information to sound intelligent in front of someone else.