DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — With the constant developments in the Israel-Hamas War, you are encouraged to do your homework before sharing information you are presented with on social media.

Although a photograph is worth 1,000 words, it can have a negative impact when shared in the wrong context. Professors from across the Miami Valley say being more aware starts with understanding one of the biggest motivations of social platforms.

“It’s important to remember that social media platforms, the social media platforms with which we engage place monetary value in our attention, they need those clicks, they need that engagement,” said Dr. Nathan French, associate professor or comparative religion, Miami University.

When engaging with content about the war, you are encouraged to remember that some posts may be from different countries and even time periods.

French says people should have a process for how they engage with these posts.

“That visceral response is exactly the moment where we as viewers have to pause and consider what we’re seeing, who is presenting these images to us,” French says. “What do they hope that our response is, and what action do they hope that we take?”

Professor Derrick Green teaches media analysis and other topics at Cedarville University. He says the current era of social media has changed how people interact with current events and politics.

“Anybody who has access to a social media platform today has a voice,” Green said. “And right now, all of those voices or many of those voices are speaking on this particular conflict.”

Before you re-post, you should make an effort to verify what you are sharing. People can often spread false information by acting on emotional responses from seeing heartbreaking images.  

Another professor at Cedarville University, Glen Duerr, teaches international studies.

When it comes to understanding major topics like the history of Israel, Palestine and the Gaza Strip, Duerr says there are no shortcuts.  

“It gives people that haven’t traditionally have voices, voices to speak into things, but there’s no substitute for doing research and for studying,” Duerr said.

The professors tell 2 NEWS that even though someone is sharing false information on social media, they might not be doing so intentionally. You are always encouraged to double check before you post or repost.