Earlier today, a friend of mine called and expressed that he now understands why I had been encouraging people to use Twitter to advocate for SOMALILAND. When I asked him what had brought about this realization, he pointed out that even our American acquaintances had been misled by the lies being spread on social media. Additionally, I have encountered many individuals who question why the United States is involved in this matter. And then I started writing this peace
This is exactly what I was shouting about all along , whether it is the general public or the government organizations. “when lies are repeated multiple times, people often believe it” is a well-known phenomenon in psychology and communication studies called the “illusory truth effect.” The idea is that the more we hear a statement, the more familiar it becomes, and the more likely we are to accept it as true – even if it is false. This effect can be especially strong if the statement aligns with our pre-existing beliefs or biases.
It’s not surprising that some leaders in the international community might be inclined to accept falsehoods regarding Somaliland on social media platforms like Twitter. This is because there are organized groups on Twitter that have direct access to global leaders and systematically spread false information about Somaliland. The prevalence of these groups is significant, with thousands of members disseminating the same untrue claims repeatedly. I had previously urged you to join Twitter and defend your country, as I foresaw this issue arising..
The frequency of a particular message being shared on social media can influence people’s inclination to believe it, irrespective of its accuracy. This is because repetition can increase the familiarity and ease of processing of information, resulting in people perceiving it as more trustworthy.
Social media platforms have a tendency to create an “echo chamber” effect, whereby individuals are primarily exposed to information that supports their pre-existing beliefs and biases. This can exacerbate the propagation of inaccurate or deceptive information since people are less likely to encounter information that challenges their existing views.
Ever since the start of the LasAnod conflict, I have been continuously urging the government to speak out and for the public to share their stance on a daily basis. In situations of conflict, it is crucial for government bodies to issue regular press releases as they provide a platform to communicate their perspective and position to the public and the media. Press releases serve as an effective means to provide clarity on the stance of an organization or country and offer context to its actions.
Crafting a carefully-worded press release can significantly impact the way a conflict is portrayed and understood, as it presents an organization’s stance in a direct and effective manner. Through a press release, an organization can also communicate crucial details regarding any measures being implemented to resolve the conflict, which can enhance their credibility and foster trust among the public and other stakeholders.
The illusory truth effect is a potent mechanism for influencing people’s views and convictions, often utilized in propaganda and deceitful campaigns. Therefore, it is vital to recognize this effect and scrutinize information critically, particularly if it is being reiterated repeatedly. Conducting fact-checks and consulting multiple sources of information can help counter the illusory truth effect and enable individuals to make well-informed judgments.
The illusory truth effect can have significant implications in various aspects of life, including politics, advertising, and even personal relationships.
When we are repeatedly exposed to a message, it can create a sense of familiarity and credibility, leading us to accept it as true without questioning it. It is essential to be aware of this effect and take steps to avoid falling prey to misinformation and propaganda. One way to do this is to fact-check information before accepting it as true, especially if it seems too good (or too bad) to be true. Another strategy is to seek out diverse sources of information to gain a more balanced perspective. Critical thinking and skepticism are essential skills to navigate the complex world of information in which we live.
What do we need now
Having twenty or fifty individuals who are active on Twitter and acting independently is unlikely to yield any productive outcomes in the media sphere. To make a substantial impact, it is necessary to establish organized social media groups that are led and guided by knowledgeable and astute individuals.
A Yasin Mohamed Jama