In order to be informed cultural producers of information (as opposed to being cultural consumers), we need to think critically about the resources we are using and citing in our projects. We have a social responsibility to others who might be looking to us for information. We all have a responsibility to fact-check sources before we retweet or repost so that those that follow us are reading accurate and reliable information.
By definition, ACT UP means to act in a way that is different from normal. We know that normal usually means the patriarchy and the systemic oppression of POC and other marginalized groups' contributions to the conversation.
To ACT UP, means to actively engage in dismantling oppressions and acting upwards to create a more socially just system.
ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is also a direct action advocacy group working to help those living with AIDS. While most think of ACT UP as being active in 1980's, the work of ACT UP is still being done today. Remember, social justice movements take time.
Use the acronym below to evaluate your sources answering as many of these questions as you can.
Challenge information and demand accountability. Stand right up to the information and ask questions.
Who says so? Why do they say so? Why was this information created?
Why should I believe it? Why should I trust this source?
How is it known to be true? Is it the whole truth?
Is the argument reasonable? Who supports it?
Adapt your skepticism and requirements for quality to fit the importance of the information and what is being claimed.
Require more credibility and evidence for stronger claims.
You are right to be a little skeptical of dramatic information or information that conflicts with commonly accepted ideas.
New information may be true, but you should require a robust amount of evidence from highly credible sources.
File new information in your mind rather than immediately believing or disbelieving it.
Avoid premature closure. Do not jump to a conclusion or come to a decision too quickly.
It is fine simply to remember that someone claims XYZ to be the case. You need not worry about believing or disbelieving the claim right away.
Wait until more information comes in, you have time to think about the issue, and you gain more general knowledge.
Evaluate and re-evaluate regularly.
New information or changing circumstances will affect the accuracy and hence your evaluation of previous information.
Recognize the dynamic, fluid nature of information.