Forum: Be discerning when encountering unverified stories

The recent case in which an alternative news site published false claims is a good reminder to all of us as individuals and organisations to be vigilant and discerning of the information we receive (Wake Up, Singapore issued Pofma correction direction for falsehoods about KKH, March 27).

We often quickly accept information and stories when we feel a connection to them. In cases where there are alleged grievances, it is also normal for a desire for justice to be stirred up.

Taking action to address issues is both good and important.

However, in a time of digital anonymity, it is easy for false information and stories to be shared.

Bad information and ideas lead to negative consequences; lies create confusion and distrust. The false allegations against KK Women's and Children's Hospital have caused unnecessary public distress, wasted resources to conduct investigations and demoralised already stressed healthcare workers.

As a society, we can do better.

Let us all be reminded of the need to be discerning with whatever information we encounter. This could mean attempting to verify stories before sharing, or simply not taking unverifiable or unidentifiable information seriously.

We must avoid encouraging a culture of falsehoods and exaggerations. It would erode the precious trust we have in one another and in organisations.

As one nation, let us all fight falsehoods by holding individuals and organisations to a high standard of accountability.

Lim Jun Bin

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