Yes, you may well have fallen into the fake news & click-bait titles like “COVID-19 Vaccine Found” (nevertheless see how such viruses can be defeated), “Corona Virus Medicine Found”, “China blamed for Corona Virus”, “Army Helicopters will be Spreading Disinfectants”, “Nepal found the treatment”, and the list is very long.
This is the list of fake news that we’ve been seeing recently on social media. In the present scenario, we want such news to be true. But alas! They are just fake news created by some people for their personal purposes.
There are plenty of misleading materials online. Sharing or liking such things spread them faster and make it seem true to the viewers. Here is an article about how to detect fake news.
What is a fake news?
Fake news is intentionally invented stories with attractive headlines to make people believe in that story, and make the people buy something or visit a website. Fake news is not always invented stories. Stories having some amount of truth with added false statements are also considered fake news. These types of fake news spread faster as they have some percentage of truth in it, which makes it sound truer.
Where does fake news come from?
Fake news are not new things. Without internet and television too there used to be the spread of fake news. All it requires for fake news is a person to create the news and some people to spread the news. Fake news spreads even faster these days due to social media.
Internet gives freedom to anyone to post anything. It works so fast that it reaches a lot of users on a single click and those users start to share it to more people. Some news sources are so hard to trace due to multiple shares. This makes it difficult to find the actual source of the news.
What harm can fake news do?
False rumor can create misunderstanding among people. In a working environment, trusting fake news and spreading it can cause reputational damage.
Spreading fake news can grow the fears of people.
Fake news about public figures, politicians, and celebrities can hamper their impacts on fans and general public.
More spread of fake news can over-shadow the real truth.
How to detect fake news?
Develop a critical mind-set
- One of the main reasons for the spread of fake news is that it is often believable. False news stories often have catchy headlines and some headlines also show “shock” value like “extremely shocking news”, “latest news”, “believe it or not, the president said this”.
- Ask yourself, “Why has this story been written? Is it to persuade me of a certain viewpoint? Is it selling me a particular product? Or is it trying to get me to click through to another website?”
Investigate the source
- Ensure that the news is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. Find out more information about the publisher – is it a professional and well-known news agency or is it someone’s personal blog?
- Check out who shared the news and consider their reputation.
- Look out for the standard of the author of the news.
Check the language format
- Review the language type and format used in the news. Also notice the tone and level of formal language.
Look for fake images
- Look into the details of the images carefully. You can check if the image has been altered on Google Reverse Image Search.
Inspect the date
- Fake news may contain dates that makes no sense. The headlines may not match with the date of the story. For example, a news with headlines like “A politician gave a speech saying this”. And when you read the news, you find it was two years ago when he said that.
Check That It “Sounds Right”
- Use your common sense! If a story sounds unbelievable, it probably is not true. Keep in mind that fake news is created to feed your fears. Remember, just because a story sounds right, doesn’t mean that it is true.
- For example, it is unlikely that your favorite smartphone brand is giving away a million latest models for free to people who turn up to its stores or share the news.
Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share news that you know to be credible.
Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it is possible that the news is fake. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it is more likely to be a true news.
Thank you for taking your time. If you think this was useful please give your feedback in the comment section below.