We’ve been trained to rely on experts to do this for us. If we go back 30 years or so, we would find experts in a limited number of places: academia, government and non-government organizations, and major corporations including media. As I wrote in The Age of Thought Leadership:
“…the Information Age is allowing experts to step out from behind the veil of a corporate (or academic) entity…”
This is a double-edged sword. As individuals we can develop and express thought leadership. However, also as individuals, we can no longer solely rely on third parties for pre-vetting our experts.
Learn how to do research. Know the difference between a primary source and a secondary source. Become more discerning in your content consumption. Develop a healthy level of skepticism.
Learn that third kind of vet.
[Note: Vetting is one of the skills from my TEDx talk, 3 Essential Skills for the 21st Century]