How can fake news be distinguished on Facebook and other social media platforms, you may be wondering? How can a student avoid fake news? Or how to prevent unintentionally disseminating false information online? Ten guidelines are provided below to help you spot incorrect information, spot fake news websites, and think twice before you share:
1. Verify the origin
Verify the page’s web address before continuing. Fake news websites occasionally utilize less common domain extensions like “.infonet” or “.offer” or have spelling problems in their URLs. Look in the About Us part of the website if you are unfamiliar with it.
2. Verify the writer
Look into their credibility by asking questions like: Are they honest, have a solid reputation, are they writing in their area of expertise, and do they have any agendas? Think about the writer’s potential inspiration.
3. Examine several sources
Are other trustworthy media outlets covering the story? Is the tale cited from reliable sources? Professional international news organizations have editorial standards and ample resources for fact-checking, so it’s a positive sign if they also cover the subject.
4. Keep an analytical frame of mind
Many pieces of fake news are skillfully constructed to elicit strong emotions like fear or wrath. Keep a critical perspective by asking questions to
– Why was this tale created? Is it advocating for a specific cause or goal? Is it attempting to get me to click on another website?
5. Verify the data
Facts abound in reliable news reports, including data, figures, expert quotations, etc. If any of these are absent, consider why. Verifying the publication date of an item is a good idea because reports with inaccurate information sometimes include erroneous dates or manipulated timeframes.
6. Review the feedback
The comments underneath the article or video might not be accurate, even if they are. Links and comments in response to articles are frequently generated automatically by bots or individuals who have been paid to spread false or perplexing information.
7. Examine your prejudices
Everyone has biases; may yours affect how you react to the article? Social media can produce echo chambers by proposing content that aligns with your current browsing patterns, interests, and viewpoints. The more information we read from various perspectives and sources, the more probable our judgments will be accurate.
8. Verify if it’s a joke
Popular satirical websites might make it difficult to determine if a story is merely a joke or a parody. See if the website has a reputation for satire or for producing humorous tales.
9. Verify that the photographs are real
Social media images may have been altered or distorted. Warping, where previously straight lines in the backdrop suddenly appear wavy, odd shadows, jagged edges, or an overly flawless skin tone, are all potential symptoms.
10. Check your facts online
Among the most well-known are:
- Fact Check
- BBC Reality Check
Reposting, retweeting, and spreading misleading information rely on believers. Think twice before sharing if you are unsure of the authenticity of an article.