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How Being Literate Could Prevent Hoax?

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On Sunday, August 15th 2021, Act Global organized a webinar called Literacy to Prevent Hoax. Still, in this pandemic situation, this event was held online with 75 participants. To discuss this issue, we invite dr. Dito Anurogo, M.Sc as a speaker. dr. Dito himself is an active lecturer at the University of Muhammadiyah Makassar and an author of several health books. He is also a founder of The School of Life Institute, and currently studying for a doctoral degree at Taipei Medical University. We hope he could enlighten us on why it is so important to be literate during this pandemic covid-19 crisis.

A Wiseman said, nowadays, people are full of information but lack knowledge.  The Wiseman has his own point. With all the flooding information, people tend to lose what matters to them. Therefore, some of the people said something without fully understanding what they were speaking about. Yet, we have become a society where we know so much about many things and from those, raise a problem. Hoax. false news, misjudgment, et cetera.  Those problems are rooted in a problem called lack of literacy.

So, what is literacy? Literacy is the ability to read and write. Yet the meaning of literacy seems so simple, but it is not. Being literate means understanding something holistically and comprehensively. To have that understanding, the information we receive should come from integrity, ethical-aesthetic, solutive, innovative, and futuristic sources. 

In this pandemic situation, information is one of the keys to come out of this crisis. The ability to filter the information that we get could decrease the impact of this multidimensional crisis on us. That is why, we have to pay more attention to the information that we receive, not only do we filter the information, we have to be literate about health information. 

The indicators of being literate to this health issue come with a multidimensional and multi-perspective. The information that we receive should be clear from factors that could lead to any misinformation. This type of information could reduce the spread of misinformation and hoaxes. 

To make us more literate,  there are activities that you can do, for example, reading, writing, storytelling, discussing, dialectic, deliberation, and debating. From this, it is hoped that it will be impactful and could achieve the digitalization era, could have a healthy influence on health and for the sociocultural factors, it could stimulate education and the economy. Through cross-disciplinary synergy, being literate has the potential to create a great and dignified Indonesia. 

In the context of preventing hoaxes,  Is it enough just to filter before sharing? Dito thought not only do we have to filter the information before we share it, but we also have to consider and find out the source of the information. We have to explore if there is an implied meaning of the news. After that, we have to look at the author’s source and also the sources that support the news. Also be aware of whether there are elements of bias, humor, which can affect the truth of the information, and if it is necessary, you can ask the experts directly to validate the news. And because of this pandemic, people seem to be freaking out and sometimes share the misinformation.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan Newsweek, 25 August 1986

What is Infodemics?

dr. Dito explains, infodemic is a phenomenon of misinformation and unreliability, which spreads quickly and makes people confused, depressed, and other behaviors. This can also be a distrust of the community to health experts and the government which leads to the division of the society.

The government through KOMINFO has actually helped a lot to prove that the news can be accounted for or not.

The Key to Accelerating Literacy Intelligence for the millennials: 

  1. Family Literacy (Have a bedtime story and create a special time for reading and writing together, exemplary from parents and a private library)
  2. School/Campus Literacy – compulsory reading, activate school/campus libraries, FGDs, in libraries, exemplary lecturers/teachers, wall magazines
  3. Public literacy must also have support from the government.

Written by: Harun Arrasyid