What is Honesty?
Honesty denotes the quality of being free of deceit and untruthfulness in communicating information. With the goal of sincerely communicating accurate information that can be understood between each of us, we can build something greater. Honesty is a powerful tool to allow us to work together to make a life better for ourselves and others.
What is the Honest Majority?
The Honest Majority, THM, is a grassroots social movement that is working to encourage honesty in all of us and dispel dangerous misinformation.
What is misinformation?
Misinformation is incorrect information. You know, the sort of information coming intentionally or accidentally from friends or enemies that might harm us in some way. It can harm us in some very small way, like following directions to go left when we really needed to go right. It might be life-changing. It might be deadly, like being told that we can smoke cigarettes without the threat of lung cancer. Misinformation is harmful information because it is dishonest information.
What does THM do?
THM promotes honesty through messaging in our products, advertisements, and blog. Our proceeds support our non-profit sponsor, Make Truth Matter Again, to develop sustainable products that combat misinformation and promote honesty. THM is about encouraging the spread of powerfully useful information that will help to prevent the infections of misinformation from causing us to make bad choices. We are actively encouraging the use of honesty to unintentional infections. How do we start?
Greater honesty in society will lead to more effective functioning for all people. Each bit of misinformation can lead to actions that cause mistakes that don’t need to happen. We take action against misinformation by promoting honest information and understanding how all forms of information spread.
The spread of information and misinformation.
Our minds are hosts for different sorts of information. Ideas, dreams, memories coming from our own life, or from information we’ve gained from others as the information is transferred between us. It is shaped into a communicable form. The information spreads from host to host via different pathways or ‘vectors.’ It might be more apparent to you right now that we’re using words that are more often used for communicable diseases, such as COVID-19, because information can spread in much the same way as communicable diseases. We can take the term ‘communicable’ to be taken as 'the communication of information between two sources.' With this understanding, we can see that similar viral entities might spread when we are able to communicate them. The general concept of units of viral information, called memes, that are communicated between people was first described by an amazing work of life-understanding by Richard Dawkins in ‘The Selfish Gene’ and later extended by an amazing work called ‘The Meme Machine’ by Susan Blackmore. But, really, you might know this almost intuitively: Information, both good and bad, can spread in similar ways to diseases.
(We use the term "Dys-Info" below to mean both disinformation and misinformation.)
Fortunately for us, information that is both bad and good can spread in a similar manner as contagious diseases. One such example of an idea that has spread for the good of many is the idea of hygiene: we can clean our hands before touching a wound and prevent infections from occurring. This idea is one that has spread throughout the world to save many hundreds of millions of lives. Such viral understanding of personal hygiene has already saved your life too—you just didn’t realize it.
The Honest Majority is helping to promote the equivalent of good bodily hygiene—for information—in order to protect us from misinformation and its spread.
How do we combat the spread of misinformation?
THM suggests three areas in which we can prevent the growth of misinformation. The first starts with the most easily influenceable location of information: yourself. When you do what you can to prevent the spread of disinformation, you can help to prevent its growth in others.
The second source of misinformation is other people who are sharing it. It can be hard to stop them, but we can do what we may to discourage their shared falsities and help to prevent further viral growth and consequential dangers.
A third element we focus on to prevent misinformation is to somehow control the manner of communication. Media, especially social media, is actively combating disinformation by preventing its dissemination. This may be contentious because of potential challenges involving free speech, so it might be one avenue to prevent misinformation but perhaps not the best one.
The best option remains to do what we personally can do to not spread misinformation. For this to happen we want to be able to better see when misinformation gets to us and what to do about it.
If you’ve ever been on social media and had to ‘speak up’ about something you saw that was glaringly wrong, you’ve probably done that already. We can do it effectively. Based on understanding from a wide variety of disciplines, one effective procedure follows these three components: Observe. Understand. Respond Effectively. The acronym OURE can be discussed as follows:
Observe potential misinformation that is being shared.
Understand why the information is potentially dangerous and the reasons/motivations for its spread.
Respond ‘effectively’ with those who might be repeating the misinformation.
We'll discuss each of these actions in greater detail as we grow with the community to encourage honesty. If you’re interested in learning with us, please follow our RSS feeds, our Instagram and Facebook feeds, and help us to reach beyond these social networks to better do what we can to reduce misinformation.
Do you already support THM?
If you do what you can to be honest with yourself, trying to accurately see the world as it is as well as the way others see it, you are already with us helping to create The Honest Majority. You can support The Honesty Majority even more: use your Instagram and save a video with you saying ‘We are The Honest Majority’ or sharing why Honesty is important to you and tag it with #WeAreTHM. When you do, you’ll show the world in some real way that you are making an honest difference for the world.
We hope you are too.