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Informational hygiene during war: 5 main rules

The enemy is now actively waging war on the informational front. Spreading fakes, manipulating and distorting the facts — such are the weapons used by occupier to inflict additional blows on the population, sow panic and discord in society and cause even more damage.

Why informational hygiene is important

Russian government is primarily taking such actions to undermine Ukrainians’ trust in the president and Armed Forces, to intimidate people, and to force them to accept peace on any terms, especially favorable, to the enemy.In addition, reading news around the clock, even if we are sure in its truthfulness, is emotionally debilitating, distracting from really important things, such as work or caring for loved ones. It makes us vulnerable and weak as well.Therefore, it is important to filter all the information that was seen and heard on TV and social networks, not to drown in a crazy wave of news, but to follow a few simple rules that will help to maintain mental health and sober mind.

Rule №1. Developing individual culture of informational consumption

Flipping through the news feed around the clock makes us more anxious and prone to believe fakes. In order not to be influenced by them, set a clear framework for the informational consumption:

 

  • Limit the number of resources from which you draw the news. Please select only a few verified sources. Nowadays, most resources duplicate information, so do not be afraid to miss something important. But browsing dozens of sites or groups on Facebook will only increase the likelihood of encountering a fake.
  • Clearly define the time frame during which you can look through the news. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by them at any time. Watch news programs on TV, listen to the radio or read Telegram channels, for example, only in the evening. This will allow you to relax psychologically during the day and quickly do other things.
  • Control the time you spend on social media. Social networks, in addition to breaking news, also contain a stream of emotionally difficult information, often not important at all. To keep it from airing, minimize the use of Facebook, Instagram, etc.

 

And for fun watch useful, informative content that will motivate you to pursue a new hobby or inspire for interesting project. This will help to distract, not to lose heart and will provide only positive emotions.

Rule №2. Analyzing popular sources of information

Careful selection of news sources is an important factor in protecting yourself from false information as well. The most reliable resources of all available are:

 

  1. Official resources of the authorities, websites of ministries, The Presidential Office of Ukraine, Armed Forces, their social media pages and channels in Telegram. Information in such sources is usually transmitted directly from government officials, so it is protected from fakes and distortions by the enemy.
  2. Mass media. Currently, many rating news portals, TV channels, especially those belonging to the All-Ukrainian Marathon, offer the audience current news. The publication of fakes on such resources is minimized too.
  3. Social networks. This is a convenient way to quickly find out the news if you subscribe to the official pages of the authorities and the above-mentioned rating media. However, one should be wary of various groups, bloggers’ publications and so-called sofa experts, as information from them is not always verified or even distorted by the author’s subjective perception.

Rule №3. Checking information

Critical attitude is very important now, so don’t trust everything you’ve heard from friends or read online. Be sure to check what you have heard and seen on official sources, look for facts. For example, did someone tell you about the siege of a town or city? Be sure to check on the website or Telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense!Note that in most cases, fake information is blurred, there is no clear information about the source, place and time of the incident. False manipulation news is often based on outdated footage and stories too. Therefore, it is important to carefully study the chronology of events and dates mentioned in this news. And check, check again!

Rule №4. Paying attention to the coloring of information

Playing on emotions is also an effective weapon of russian authorities, since thanks to emotions and feelings we can perceive this or that news not so critically. An emotionally colored message is much easier to spread among the masses, and we are now exhausted by lots of news, worries about our relatives, homes and the future in general, and we painfully perceive news from the front.Do not forget: too emotionally presented information, seen on the Internet, may be another manipulation of russian occupiers.

Rule №5. Developing responsibility for sharing unverified information

In any case do not publish anywhere photos and videos of the movement of military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the addresses of newly struck infrastructure facilities, etc. Why is it so important? So that the enemy does not adjust the fire for even more damage and does not receive important information for further crimes. In addition, for such violation you can go to jail for a period of 3-8 years, even if you deliberately did not want to harm our military and the country.Also, if you witness the dissemination of such information by other users on social networks or in any other place, do not pass it on. Before reposting any message on Facebook or forwarding it to Viber group, you must be sure that you are not harming anyone and that you are spreading the truth received only from official sources.And remember — we need to hold on at all fronts, have a cold mind and not succumb to manipulations that only make the war easier for russian occupiers. So let’s keep our thoughts pure and mental health strong so that the enemy cannot defeat us!

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