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Complete the following reading and videos prior to participating in the forum:

In addition, review the weekly Instructor Guidance and any supporting information in the announcements.

Bias and emotionally charged communications occur in social platforms daily and these types of information are often accepted as “truth” by the readers. In addition, often these are based on elements of diversity awareness that are neglected (i.e. cultural, experiences, religious, political, etc.) by the person or organization presenting the information. At times this is accidental, but at other times, purposeful. Especially in times of great politicization, we each can be vulnerable to believing information found on these sites but as scholars we must learn to stay neutral and support our own knowledge about events, people, etc. with grounded (less-biased) information and our own research. Simply depending on what we hear can increase the likelihood of forming inaccurate beliefs.

Also, businesses and leaders are beginning to peruse social sites more frequently, so it is important that you apply developed understanding of how neglectful awareness can lead to stereotyping and bias in public social forums and internet sites. The following discussion introduces the potential for the biases that may neglect, or promote, the importance for diversity within organizations (or even directly at individuals), as communicated through social platforms that often promote information through the use of increased emotional triggers and dialogue.

To complete this discussion, address the following bulleted items:

  • Explore one or more social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn). If you are not familiar with social networking, you may also google a company’s name and use any news or social site found in the results of your search.
  • Search for a popular leader of an organization, an entertainer, or a political figure.
  • Share an image of the information/statement/etc. (or copy-paste).
  • Analyze and discuss how the information is presented. Avoid stating your own personal opinion (i.e., I identify with this leader because…, I agree with this post…, I support this opinion because…, etc.) about the content you are analyzing.
  • Do your own fact checking. Look for credible support for anything that may not be accurate.
    • Discuss what you discovered. If you use another online website to do your fact checking, list the online source as a citation and reference in APA format.
    • The Ashford Library is also a great resource for news publications and articles on all topics to do fact checking. Carefully avoid your own biases.
  • Discuss whether you found bias in the social media and leader communications that you analyzed. Consider the following list and describe if you noticed any of these biases.

Self-serving bias: Seeing oneself as responsible for positive outcomes, as in putting a positive spin on one’s accomplishments or influencing positive events. “This happened because of me” This bias also hold the reluctance to accept responsibility for negative outcomes, and therefore commonly blames others for negative outcomes.

Similar-to-me-bias: Preferring individuals who are similar to themselves, by race, gender, age, career, religion, etc.

Conformation bias: Being willing to only focus on information that supports one’s own views and preconceptions.

Blindspot bias: When one believes they are less biased than others because they believe bias is something that others do and not them.

Stereotyping: Assuming people, events, and objects have more in common than is actually true. Such as, “All politicians are bad” or “All Asians are good at math”

Group think: When a group opinion is formed for the sake of conformity without allowing for dissent.

Gender bias: Implicit biases that support unfair treatment, both covert and overt, based on gender

  • Lastly, based on our course’s content, what strategies could you personally apply in social networking sites to prevent self-bias and stereotyping of others, even unintentionally?

Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated. Select the three dots button above and then select Show Rubric. Your original posting should be thorough and 300 to 400 words in length.

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