LAST week news stories shared widely online suggested 183 arsonists had been arrested "since the start of the bushfire season".
But Victoria Police said there was no evidence any of the fires that ravaged the state this month and the last were started by arsonists.
Dig into those news reports and you'll see the story that first peddled the arson information was incorrect - it referenced information and figures that ended in September 2019.
Also last week, Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons shot down a common argument that blamed environmental groups for getting in the way of hazard reduction work.
We live in an extraordinary period of human history. We have access to entire breadth of research and information across generations, something no other society has had before.
So then why does it feel like people are more uninformed than ever?
The internet gave everyone a voice.
But instead of using the internet as a chance to learn and better understand the world around us, instead it's given rise to fringe views formerly too small to grow out of a small group or too dangerous to grow at all: anti-vaxxers, white nationalism, hate speech, climate denialism, dangerous health trends and false political propaganda, to name a few.
This bushfire season has been devastating and this summer has seen several of the highest temperature records broken.
The effects of climate change are in line with what has been predicted by scientists for decades.
It's maybe no surprise then that this crisis has seen people and companies spread misinformation to fit their own political or social views that stand counter to widely researched data.
Understanding how people think is the first step in understanding each other, but given the fervour with which people defend their own views above any kind of reason, are we capable?
You are free to have an opinion, but that doesn't mean you're right - though you might think you are. Don't be a sucker. Dig deeper to understand where information is coming from and trust the experts.