The Three Filter Test is often attributed to Socrates but there are lots of versions and I’m not sure where it actually originated. Plus, from the versions I know, I've adapted or edited it to my own liking anyway.
Basically I like to think in terms of applying the 3 Filter Test when I want to share any information but it’s especially appropriate if you are considering sharing what could be termed as gossip.
The 1st test: Is it true? Is the information I’m spreading factual? Or, if I don’t know, maybe I should find out.
The 2nd test: Is it helpful? Sometimes this filter is written as “Is it useful?” or “It is necessary?” but personally I like the standard of considering whether what I’m passing along is helpful to anyone. Otherwise, why bother?
The 3rd test: Is it kind:? I like this filter the most because gossip usually doesn’t pass muster on this one, which is exactly why I tend to want to share it, but know I shouldn't.
I certainly fail miserably at the 3 Filter Test way too often. But, when I actually think of these questions and refrain from sharing something that doesn’t meet all 3 criteria, I'm usually grateful I kept my mouth shut! Try it out!