The current health situation in our country is overwhelming. We all want to be part of the solution or support in whatever way we can. The most common way of helping out is through information dissemination. It could be about availability of COVID facilities, equipment, medicines, or someone’s SOS appeals.
However, in our enthusiasm of helping others, we tend to forget some basic social media hygiene. This converts our helpful efforts into information junk. This may delay someone’s desperate attempts to reach to the right source or timely help. Here are some things you must keep in mind before forwarding information on COVID.
1. Feel responsible for every message you forward – Check for the authenticity of the information. Ask forwarder about the source of the information/ appeal.
2. Check the date & time of the appeal – In many emergency cases, time is the essence. The appeal may be genuine but the person may already have received help or may not need support anymore. Similarly, the facility/support may not be availability or operational anymore. In case the message doesn’t have a date, add it, whenever you are amplifying it to give some perspective about the time.
3. Vetting the Support Contact details – When circulating (forwarding any number) support contact details, ask your source whether they have verified it and when. If they haven’t, put in some efforts and verify it yourself. If immediate help is not available there, then also inquire about the existing support system and chances of next availability. Add it in your message along with the time of verification.
4. Critical but unverified information – In case you are unsure about the credibility of the message, please don’t forward it. Or do mention that the message is not verified by you and the receiver (s) may verify on their own.
5. Don’t forward unsolicited advice – Please refrain from doling out unsolicited medical advice unless you are a doctor or have confirmed it with a doctor. This applies for all home remedies. Sometimes, the unverified information may result in impacting someone’s chances of survival.
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India is a registered not-for-profit organization established in New Delhi, India in 1998 nurturing the culture of giving with impact. The imbibing of this culture emboldens our approach of creating a positive change in the community by reaching to the last mile person.