Viral spiral: 8 ways to spot fake news
Fake news is not a new phenomenon. It has been used for as long as we can remember and long before that. The difference is that in today’s digitized world, and with our use and reliance on social media, fake stories can spread like wildfire at unprecedented speed, drawing every single person into a vortex of lies and deception. Fortunately, there are warriors out there offering advice on how to recognize this pandemic of fake news and what to do about it.
Use your analytical mindset
One of the main reasons fake news is a problem is because of its credibility, which makes it much easier to go viral. Also keep in mind that fake news is also written to create a “shock value”. In other words, a strong instinctive response such as fear, anger, or anger. Even so, it is important that you keep your emotional response to stories like this in check. Approach what you see and hear rationally and critically so as not to get caught up in the vortex of deception.
Are you getting all the pages of the story here?
Ordinarily, a news article would offer different viewpoints on the case at hand, rather than just one side and one point of view. Of course, for many, these messages fit their narrative like a perfect piece in the jigsaw puzzle of their resentments and worldviews, shaping their perspective on what they already believe and / or which direction they are already headed. If the point of view of the story is strictly one-sided, you can assume that you won’t get the full story here.
Check the source(S)
If you happen to come across a story that at first glance seems like a believable source but that you’ve never heard of, it’s time to start digging. As? Check the web address of the page you are reading. Look for misspellings in company names or strange-sounding extensions like “.infonet” and “.offer” as opposed to “.com” or “.co.uk”. These could potentially indicate that the source is suspicious.
Check out the About Us section
Check out the “About Us” section on a website, which can be placed either at the top or at the bottom of the website. This section usually describes the purpose of the website and you can find out whether or not they have a team of journalists and writers, and whether they offer guest authors to contribute to the platform. If this section lacks information about their location, purpose, and staff, it is worth reconsidering the credibility of their articles / posts.
Who else reports on the story?
Some questions to ask yourself after reading a pretty bold headline or story are: Did someone else pick up this story? If so, what do you think about it? You do not have to lean towards the ultimate conclusion and mindset that all media instances are wrong, as this belief in itself is no more advisable than following and believing every rumor and conspiracy theory.
Examine the evidence
Any credible and trustworthy news story should contain many facts to back up the claims and messages at hand. This can be through quotes from experts, survey data and / or official statistics as well as through consistent and confirmed eyewitness reports from those who were on site. Check to see if these are missing, and if so, it is wise to scrutinize them. Does the evidence at hand show that something happened beyond any doubt? Or were the “facts” picked and twisted in a special way to support a particular narrative?
Pictures taken at face value can be misleading
With modern editing software available to us today, it has enabled people to create fake images that are likely to look 100% authentic, like the one above. Just two days after Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a historic peace deal, former US President Donald Trump tweeted on the 13th that it was believed at face value. However, here are some warning signs to look out for. One is the appearance of strange shadows within the picture or jagged edges around a figure. Also, keep in mind that while the actual image may be real, so can the context and the way in which it is used, through which it can be manipulated. For example, photos of children in Syria killed as a result of the civil war may have been taken five years ago but could not be linked to the most recent alleged event. You can try Google reverse image search to find out where an image came from and whether it has been altered or edited in any way.
Does it sound right to you?
Fake news is specifically designed to feed your existing prejudices, hopes, fears and your view of the world. Online hoaxers play with words and content to get more clicks and ad revenue. One such man is Paul Horner, who when asked why he thinks his material is getting so many views, said, “They just keep passing things around. Nobody checks anything for facts anymore. ”