Triple Filter Test

At some point or the other in our lives, we must have spoken badly about others, judged them, spread or listened to stories without confirming the facts. This is quite normal. But being a gossip-monger does no good; it in fact only hurts others and destroys our credibility. Gossip or rumor can be easily stopped by applying Socrates triple filter test.

socratesSocrates, a great Greek philosopher was once approached by an acquaintance. He wanted to share some information that he had just heard about one of Socrates’ friend. But before he could convey his message. Socrates asked him to pass a little test which he called the Triple Filter Test. The man agreed as he was curious to know what this test was all about.

The first filter is Truth. Are you positively sure that what you are going to tell me is true? The man replied, “No, and that he had just heard it from someone else.” Socrates said to the man that he should have verified the information and made sure whether or not it was true. Socrates moved to the next filter.


The second filter is of Goodness. Is the information about my friend something good? To which the man replied, “No.” Socrates said to the man that he had some bad information about his friend, which may or may not be true. Socrates continued and told the man that he could still pass the test, if he answered this last filter question correctly.

The third filter is of Usefulness. Is the information about my friend going to be useful? To which the man replied for the third time, “No.” Socrates concluded saying the information he had was neither true, nor good or useful, then why tell him at all?

What a beautiful lesson! Let us then try and apply the triple filter test in our daily life and use our tongue to speak what is true, good and useful. Before listening to any gossip, let us check and examine before spreading or passing any information about anyone. Let the gossip end with us and let us stop entertaining or participating in the same.

I would like to conclude this post with a wonderful quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”