Rebuilding Trust in the Age of Misinformation

Remember the article with a clickbait headline and extremely misleading information? All of us are somehow bound to be a victim of fake news at some point in our lives, especially in the digital age where misinformation is so rampant it’s become difficult to distinguish the truth.

Misinformation is rapidly growing worldwide and is even becoming an industry of its own. Fake news and misleading content generate more emotional engagement from the public, hence why it’s deemed an effective manipulation tactic.

With that being said, how can we elude fake news and misleading content, and how can we rebuild the trust we once had in the information we access?

Read on to learn more about misinformation and how to avoid it.

Understanding Misinformation

The spread of fake news and misinformation is now a crisis, but it’s not new. The age of social media has magnified misinformation to the extent it is now a scheme used worldwide to manipulate the public by using emotional triggers or reinforcing ideological beliefs.

Misinformation can take various forms, including false news stories, attention-grabbing headlines, misattributed quotes from public figures, edited images and videos, and so much more.

The COVID-19 pandemic was also the high tide of misinformation. Remember the social media posts claiming the US government was behind the creation of the virus? How about the posts about home remedies you could do that were guaranteed to cure in less than seven days?

The spread of fake news and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic caused even more problems to the public’s mental health and eroded trust in the public health authorities. This is one perfect example of how misinformation can harm the public on a global scale.

The APA (American Psychological Association) reports the public is more likely to believe false and misleading content if they are constantly exposed. “Exposure to misinformation increases the odds that people will believe it, which in turn increases the odds that they will spread it. At the same time, people do not necessarily need to believe misinformation in order to spread it; people may share information they know is false to signal their political affiliation, disparage perceived opponents, or accrue social rewards. Psychological factors contribute significantly to this process: People are more likely to share misinformation when it aligns with personal identity or social norms, when it is novel, and when it elicits strong emotions.”

While the rise of the age of misinformation is uncannily inevitable, we can easily steer clear of them once we know how to identify them.

Here are two common types of misinformation:

Fake News

Everyone certainly encountered fake news, as it’s the most common type of misinformation. Fake news presents itself as a legitimate form of news but is completely fallacious and aims to damage the reputation of a person or entity. Fake news makes money through advertising revenue, which simply means more clicks: more money.


Propaganda is typically inaccurate, biased information used to harm a person, a cause, or an entity. It’s like saying “I heard he’s unqualified” or “I heard she isn’t the best supervisor.” We often see these during an election period. It can also be used to promote a particular ideology and persuade the public to take a specific action.

Claire Wardle, from First Draft News Research Director, also shared a helpful diagram of the 7 types of mis – and disinformation. Check the image below:

Strategies for Rebuilding Trust

Education and media literacy programs

Starting the list with the most effective countermeasure for misinformation; educating yourself. There are a lot of organizations and websites that aim to educate on media literacy.

One of them is MediaLiteracyNow, which offers comprehensive studies and programs about media literacy.

Media literacy is your silver bullet against fake news and misinformation. It teaches us to use critical thinking skills on not just how to consume information but also what to do about it.

1. Teaching critical thinking skills

If you’re ever skeptical about something you’ve read on the internet, one rule is to just hop on another tab and read from another site, preferably from a site with more credibility. Then, cross-check the information and compare it to multiple sources to verify accuracy. Another thing to consider is the writer’s intent – are they biased? What is the purpose of the content?

2. Promoting fact-checking and source verification

One of the most essential things to not fall for misinformation is to fact-check everything and verify the sources. If the source came from unreliable sources, then you should more than likely ignore it.

Aside from cross-checking from multiple sources, you can also check the website’s authority and the legitimacy of the evidence provided. Ask yourself, do they have a good reputation for delivering factual information? Does the public trust them? Another thing that most people often forget – check the date!

Information may be factual, but is totally outdated.

Strengthening traditional institutions

1. Restoring integrity in journalism

A report from Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report states 56% of Americans agree with the statement that journalists are purposely misleading people with false, exaggerated content. Even more heartbreaking, 58% believe news outlets are more concerned with supporting an ideology rather than informing the public.

Based on the data presented, it’s safe to say there’s a massive drop in the public’s trust in news outlets and journalists. We’re sure there are still journalists that we can trust.

Technological interventions

1. Algorithms for detecting and combating misinformation

Thanks to the constant advancement of technology, we now have several AI fact-checkers that can do the work for you in less than a minute. But be careful though, it’s still a lot safer if you fact-check information yourself. Even ChatGPT, everyone’s current favorite AI tool, often presents the wrong information, which is a huge indicator that it’s still our responsibility to check the facts.

2. Platform policies and regulations

Website policies and regulations play a crucial role in protecting against misinformation by establishing guidelines and fostering accountability.

For example, content policies determine what kind of content should be allowed on the platform while setting clear limitations on misinformation.

This is also essential as it enables accountability and ensures that the platform is held responsible with a guarantee to address misinformation effectively. This is also one effective way of building trust among regular users of their platform.


Being in the digital age is a double-edged sword; you have the power to access nearly every piece of information with just one click, but you can also be a victim of not only misinformation but also numerous internet cyber crimes.

Remember it’s not just about rebuilding your trust in the internet, social media, and news sources, it’s about rebuilding your trust in your own instinct and how you absorb information. The key takeaway is if you know how to spot the inaccuracies, you’ll never be a victim.

Now, if you encounter misleading content again, you can scroll to the bottom page and click on “send feedback.” Then, a pop-up will appear where you can describe the issue. Once verified that the content or website violated Google’s content policies, they will be removed.

We are at a technological breakthrough and misinformation may be inescapable. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t take matters into our own hands.

By promoting media literacy, critical thinking, and commitment to the truth, we can create a path toward a more trustworthy and resilient information ecosystem for generations to come.



Finding Fulfillment in Adding Value to the Team

There’s no doubt that being a jack of all trades puts you at a huge advantage at work, but let’s face it – teamwork makes the dream work!

When you collaborate with others, multiple minds are working to execute a task, making it more efficient, enjoyable, and even less stressful.

A survey from Fierce found 86% of US employees blame lack of collaboration for setbacks in the workplace. The absence of clear communication, not being receptive to feedback, and an overall unhealthy environment diminish productivity and affect employee retention.

We all want to excel in our chosen careers, be recognized, and have fulfillment knowing our contributions are valued inside the organization to which we belong.

In this article, we’ll help you ensure you’re adding value, as well as help you find fulfillment in adding value to your team.

Understanding the Value of Contribution

The act of contributing doesn’t just mean participating and belonging to a team, it’s about adding unique, meaningful value to whatever you and your team are trying to accomplish. It could be making the task lighter, fixing issues, improving communication, and even motivating your team.

Teamwork unites diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives. Each member of the team brings unique strengths and expertise to the table, which can lead to more comprehensive problem-solving and innovative solutions.

This also means you and your team are now one; one person’s problem is now everyone’s problem, and of course, sharing the same triumphs.

Identifying Personal Strengths and Skills

To identify how you can contribute to your team effectively, the first thing to do is identify your personal strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself what you’re good at and what skills need extra work.

If you know you’re good at numbers and analyzing data and your team is struggling with it, don’t hesitate to step up and help. The same goes when you are finding it difficult to accomplish something – just reach out.

It’s important to be conscious of which tasks your team can depend on you and which tasks you need help with. Remember, weaknesses aren’t bad, it just means there are things that we haven’t fully learned yet.

This is also one of the primary reasons why it’s great to be with a healthy team; you know you’ll always have help, and you can depend on each other when faced with demanding tasks.

It’s also essential to promote continuous learning and skill development inside your team. You can help one another in enhancing your skills or attend seminars together.

Building Strong Interpersonal Relationships

You spend around eight to nine hours every day in your workplace. If you don’t have a functioning relationship with your colleagues, or worse, if there’s tension in the workplace, you’ll likely lose motivation, and probably start looking for another company.

Interpersonal relationships are key indicators you’re in a healthy team. A healthy environment is necessary for growth, but it also takes a bit of work.

To build a harmonious work environment for your team, you should promote three characteristics: trust, respect, and open communication.

Trust is a major foundation of every relationship, that includes the relationship you have with your team. If everyone knows you can depend on each other, then every task will just come off easily.

A culture of respect is also beneficial in the workplace. It means showing appreciation for an individual’s time and effort, as well as establishing clear boundaries.

Lastly, having open communication is another key item for a healthy collaboration. Everyone should have a voice inside the team, not only the leader. Disagreements are normal inside the workplace, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the power to say “NO.”

When your team promotes these three characteristics, you can ensure your team is collaborating positively and can guarantee you will be able to resolve conflicts and overcome challenges constructively.

Celebrating Achievements and Learning from Failures

It’s important to celebrate your team’s accomplishments, as well as a team member’s personal accomplishments, whether inside or outside the office.

In addition to that, don’t take setbacks personally. Failure only means you’re trying and you’re still growing. See failures as an opportunity for growth not only for yourself, but also for your team.

Your team must be resilient and determined to bounce back in the face of discouragement.

Remember, you will not always be at 100%, and sometimes, setbacks are simply a part of life.

Finding Personal Fulfillment in Team Success

You and your team’s personal contributions – regardless of your titles and functions – make an impact on your team’s overall performance. But most importantly, your teamwork cultivates growth and effective collaboration, this makes it easier to handle the next projects.

Real fulfillment comes when the combined effort of the team produces a result greater than the sum of your individual efforts.

According to a study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Rob Cross, companies that promote collaboration were 5 times more likely to be high-performing.

Another study from Daniel Sgroi (Social Media Market Foundation) reported that happy employees mean 20% more productivity, a significant number that could lead to more success.

Great collaboration doesn’t only mean accomplishing your task without fail. The real purpose is to have meaningful collaboration and that everyone’s effort is recognized and respected.


Don’t just go to work to finish your tasks and go home – you can create meaningful relationships and help others with the things they’re struggling with. Being able to contribute to other people’s lives is where real growth comes in, and that’s what it means to have real fulfillment.

Embracing collaboration, promoting growth, and contributing positively to your collective goals not only enriches the team dynamics, but also promotes a sense of purpose and satisfaction within yourself.

As you strive to make meaningful contributions and uplift those around you, remember the true essence of fulfillment lies not just in what you accomplish alone, but in the lasting impact you create together.