What would you choose: being “uninformed” or “misinformed”?
Today, being “uninformed” is not caring about the latest news or simply not being active on social media, whereas “misinformed” people are those active on social media, assuming they know everything, but get their information from a hoax source, which they then often share.
Both Google and Facebook have announced plans to eliminate the circulation of fake news, kicking the fraudsters off their paid platforms to prevent the public from being misled or confused. Reports have said that Facebook will label fake news saying “disputed by 3rd parties, before you share this story, you might want to know that independent fact-checkers disputed its accuracy”.
Netizens are becoming frustrated with fake news being re-shared on social. It is also the root of heated arguments among users, particularly with issues pertaining to politics, races and religions.
With or without dispute notification, we, social media users must learn to identify what is legitimate news from fake. Here are guides on how to spot bogus news.
Double check the origin and its author
Breaking news and stories are expected to be seen from a credible source, which could be well-known media networks, blogs or news channels. Stay away from sites with a suspicious-looking domain. Sometimes, the danger isn’t just limited to spreading fake news, but others using hoax stories as click bait to accomplish their cybercrime.
Don’t forget to check the author as well. Pay attention to the “about us” page. You can also counter-check the reputation of the author on Google search.
Don’t simply scan the headlines, go beyond
Sometimes, we possess the tendency to judge new articles by just reading the headlines. Read beyond the headlines and check how well-written it is before clicking the share icon. Fake news and many other articles, like conspiracy theories are designed to stir up readers’ emotions and prey on their biases.
Be curious, search for the same news in other outlets
Stay curious and look for the same news in other outlets. Most of the breaking news stories can be found on many news channels. If no credible news outlets are also reporting the story, then there’s a big chance that it’s bogus.
Think twice before you share it. Be a responsible netizen by sharing only an informative and legitimate story because you are an influencer within your own network.
Be an advocate of the truth
Lastly, if you spot a fake news story in your feeds posted by a friend, inform him/her privately. It’s another way of showing you care without being offensive.