Step 4: Read and Spread the Truth
The military and political powers of all countries know the power of truth.
That’s why they try to find it, hide it, manipulate it, and bend it to their favour.
Trying to find and share the truth is more complicated than it sounds.
Whilst I would say “Russian Warship: Go Fuck Yourself” is a ‘true’ statement, spreading the truth often requires more nuance.
It’s about willing to learn just as much as it is about teaching others.
Willing to accept that there will be bad things done on all sides in this war. That there is a history behind this conflict that can not be overlooked. That many people have deeply rooted beliefs that cannot be easily changed.
The lack of media freedom in Russia is particularly problematic. As much any news outlet comes with some level of bias, Russian state media in particular offers support for the Kremlin unconditionally, painting a picture to the Russian population that is seeded with lies, omissions, and an unwavering pro-Putin stance.
The actions below are intended to make it easier to find more authentic insights into what is happening in Ukraine, and help to share them with others. Your ability to be able to tell facts from fiction is will help to stop lies from spreading.
Consuming, paying for, and sharing for quality journalism helps to keep the truth in the spotlight and the lies that drive all conflict at bay.
It is easy to fall into the false belief that others think and act in the same way you do. By getting a more accurate understanding of reality, you help yourself and other gain the understanding that this war, and all wars, must end.
ACTION: SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM
- English-language news outlets based in the country, such as the Kyiv Independent and the New Voice of Ukraine, are covering developments on the ground as the conflict unfolds, using local journalists.
- The Kyiv Independent says it was created by journalists in order to defend editorial independence. This site on Twitter covers many local journalists in Ukraine.
- Follow verified accounts on social media
- Stand With Ukraine shares knowledge wrap-ups based on the ongoing situation and ways followers can support Ukrainian citizens. Instagram: @withukraine.
- Svidomi offers updates on the ongoing conflict from the English version of a Ukrainian social media-based outlet, as it shares brief but frequent posts from the front lines. Instagram: @svidomi_eng. Twitter: @Svidomi_en.
- Ukrainians in Solidarity provides information on how followers can support Ukrainian citizens. Instagram: @ukrainiansinsolidarity.
- Don’t spread misinformation online. Verify all news sources before sharing on social media.
ACTION: SUPPORT INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
Whilst social media can be a great source of direct information, it is increasingly being manipulated by parties with vested interests. Be particularly wary of Telegram Groups, WhatsApp Channels with large numbers of people in them, Facebook Groups that link to other websites/companies, or groups that regularly have advertisements, such as those for crypto or alternative vaccine treatments.
When in doubt, a quick Google search will help you fact-check information, as will asking people who you trust what they think of a particular information source.