There’s been a lot of conversation lately about what is being termed “fake news”. While the discussion about fake news has been related to politics, it occurred to me that this could easily happen in the business world. ERE had a blog post about it – “Fake News Afflicts the Workplace Too.”
Sue Meisinger, former CEO of SHRM, also talked about “HR and Fake News” in her latest Human Resource Executive Online column.
NPR had a nice read recently on “Fake or Real? How to Self-Check the News and Get the Facts.” What I liked about this article was that the author wasn’t trying to tell you ‘this source is fake news’ and ‘this source isn’t.’ They just provided a list of steps you could use to figure it out for yourself. Step #1 – Pay attention to the domain and URL.
Candidates and employees use the internet for information. There’s no way around it. Organizations should make sure that employees are able to identify good, trustworthy sources. I call it curation. And I believe it’s a business competency that needs to be developed.
In fact, some organizations are implementing programs to help employees refine their curation skills. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to hear how Fujitsu Labs was using content curation in organizational learning. Their 3-step approach for learning curation can be used in many organizations.
1) Employees search the topics they wish to explore, identify relevant sources, and select content.
2) After analyzing the content, they synthesize it by adding their point of view or context.
3) Then, employees share their curated materials and comment on others curated materials.
Training Magazine also has a feature story on “The Art of Content Curation.” This article focuses on the connection between subject matter experts (SMEs) and content curation. I believe in today’s business world everyone is an expert at something, so making sure that SMEs are perceived as trustworthy sources of news and information is important to their credibility.
I saw an article that said the world’s internet traffic surpassed one zettabyte last year. I cannot even fathom how big that is…but it’s big. Huge. It goes without saying that there will be some less trustworthy information. And unfortunately, some flat-out made up stuff. We must be responsible internet users and, before we share, make sure what we’re sharing is accurate.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the Newseum in Washington, DC