When Kevin scrolls through his social media feed, he’s immediately stopped in his track by the news that his company is just about to be acquired by its biggest competitor. He immediately posts a response to share the same story with his contacts and this emails it to his team.
But Kevin has an afterthought. He starts wondering whether the story is really true? What if he just shared and spread a “fake news” story? Obviously, he never checked the source.
If he was a victim of some fake news and then he shared and spread the news himself, when will people ever trust him again?
Essentially, being cocky about fake news only makes it easier to fall, victim. Luckily, there are many things you can do to ensure you do repeat the same mistake as Kevin. Read on to know how you can separate the truth from fake news.
Today, technological advancements and the increased popularity of 5G networks have made it easier for people to access a wide range of news platforms. Nonetheless, it’s important to consider the fact that there are different versions of news one can get from these sources. I think this has much to do with fake news. Unfortunately, such news has resulted in lots of social unrest in different parts of the globe.
More importantly, nowadays the society is split between two main camps: anti- and pro-government. With this being the case in many countries, some reporters might try covering up the truth for political gains, making many people question the entire media industry.
It’s like they reside in an “echo chamber” a type of social media environment where opinions are approved because they are only read by those that hold similar opinions. Such individuals might become angry with anyone who thinks differently and ultimately lead to divisions in society, which isn’t a good thing.
How To Identify Fake News
Check The Source
When you come across a new story from a source you don’t know much about, do some more research. Check the address of the webpage you are reading. Spelling errors in the name of the company or other strange extensions such as “. Co.uk,” and “. Infonet” or “.offer.” should raise more suspicion.
Check Out The Evidence
A trustworthy news story will have lots of facts, official statistics, survey data, and experts for example. Or corroborated consistent and detailed eyewitness accounts from others on the scene. Don’t trust a source if these aren’t there.
Never Take Pictures At Face Value
Today, there are many editing software that has made it easier for people to manipulate images. Technically, studies show that about only 50% of people can tell if an image is fake. Nevertheless, you can check out the warning signs like jagged edges or strange shadows around the image.
Fake news – and how to spot it. (n.d.). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/stories-51974040
What is fake news and can you identify it? (n.d.). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-46149888
Carbonnel, A. D. (2019, July 11). Exclusive: Echo chambers – Fake news fact-checks hobbled by low reach, study shows. U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-disinformation-exclusive-idUKKCN1U60PL