February 2017

We Can Be Vigilant Without Being Vigilantes

Our online activity feeds the algorithms of web browsers, websites, and social media sites so that they can serve us content we want to see. If I like cat videos, I’m fed more cat videos—and cat food ads.  If I frequent environmental advocacy websites search results and ads may feature sustainable products and news feeds will cover #starvingrock and #epa.

If I have shown disdain toward environmental causes, I will be fed entirely different content. In this case, I can be thankful that my browser has determined I am about living on earth — not destroying it! Yet, can I have a strong voice if I am unaware of what the opposing views are?

I hope that you will view this note as a reminder that we are seldom making our own decisions online. And yes, marketers are to blame. Your online actions inform us about your interests and habits and making it much easier to sell you stuff.

Explore with an open mind

I encourage you to visit websites with altering viewpoints, surf in an incognito window when you are getting prices for hotel stays, shoes, or small business supplies. Reach out to the friend or coworker who opposes a cause you love. Be open to other views and see what happens!

8 ways to determine if an article is fake news

On the blog this morning we discuss fake news and ways we can stop spreading it. The sooner we address these practices the sooner we can get back to finding more pretty fonts or stalking our teens on snapchat… there’s a month of daily newsletters right there.

Please stay connected!

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