Updated/more succinct “50-something White Jewish Feminist Dyke Peace Camp Activist Who’s Done Both Purity and Paranoia Politics and Just Wants Some Clarity and Accountability Now Rules for Stopping FKnews* AND Supporting Communal Trust”
The Vetting Time Measure: otherwise known
The 5 Second Rule
If you can’t spend at least 5 seconds verifying the source, don’t share the post/article/hysterical cry of “the end of days is nigh”.
Field note – the amount of posts I’ve now stopped myself from reflex-sharing while trying to follow my own rule is both astounding AND embarrassing. I’m a thoughtful, well-read, experienced activist. Just how much useless and/or dangerous debris have I been tossing into the stream?
The Best If Used By Measure
A call to action that is several months old is probably no longer useful in this dumpster fire admin. Dating posts will help a lot.
The Owl Test
If you can’t answer WHO? then don’t. Seriously. “A group of women/Black people/poor people/activists” without that group being named and trackable is NOT an answer to WHO? And, as we now well know, those untrackable groups can be activists or hackers paid to disrupt our lives
The Cards on the Table Rule
If a post says “I” or “a person I know” and you are forwarding it, disclose whether you personally know these people. If the post is from someone you know and trust, say so. If you have NO CLUE where this came from, say so. Or consider not posting it.
Field note – This one is a struggle, since my community IS wide-ranging and “friend of a friend” can be a perfectly legit measure. A “friend of my friend” could well be head of a union or a senator’s staff or a senator or a famous writer/musician/activist (and don’t get me started on the rabbis). Still working out how to distinguish between actual networks and forwards with a name attached none of us actually know.
The Let’s Be Honest Rule
If you’re passing along an article as “really important” or “a must read,” please be willing to certify that you’ve actually read. All of it. If not, say so.
Field note – I created this rule mainly for myself cause I am likely to violate it. I’m trying.
The GIGO Opinion Measure
as in Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Have you ACTUALLY put work and thought into some opinion you are posting? If not, just don’t. We’re all drowning in knee-jerk half ass opinions.
The Road To Hell Measure
Snide, Ironic, Mocking, and Disruptive intentions paved the road to this hell. If you aren’t trying to educate, inspire, or comfort, just fucking don’t.
Field note – This measure was also created mainly as a guideline for my own posting practices. I find it so easy to mock, and rather comforting. But with only x amount of brain-able-to-pay-attention time each day, filling that time with snide or parody feels like a privilege shit-storm right now. Laughing at the white supremacists running our federal apparatus can be a pleasant relief from time to time, but HELLO WE HAVE ACTUAL WORK TO DO.
The If You Can’t Bless It, Pick Up a Hammer**
If you are posting an article about somethinggodawfulTHEYaredoing, be sure to include as least one direct coherent action we can take. “Sign a Petition” or “Buy a Product” or “Stew in Bitter Regret” are NOT direct and coherent actions.
Field Notes – Ok, so women I admire and trust gave immediate and strong feedback to this when it was posted as a rule. They argued quite convincingly that sometimes we just need to scream and posting about something god awful you just discovered is a way of screaming. And sometimes we have NO FUCKING CLUE what to do and post or share hoping someone else will have some suggestions. So this idea is officially a suggestion. I am trying to make it a regular practice for my own posts, no matter what. I think it would be one good communication goal for all of us, but only if we don’t judge ourselves or each other when what is most needed is straightforward screaming.
*FKnews – as explained in my original much longer version of this idea, containing both Feminist linguistical theory and political explanations, FKnews is a working abbreviation for Fake News, or maybe Fake-Knew for people who are lying intentionally, or maybe Fucked-News, for how it effects justice and reality.
**from Marge Piercy’s poem “The Art of Blessing the Day”with just a smidgen of “if I had a hammer” thrown in:
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.