July 6, 2017

These questions can help you spot fake news

Thanks to the internet, more and more people have access to information. Eyes have been opened to the state of the world, and new knowledge and insights have expanded the minds of many. Unfortunately, within the newfound wealth of information lie some content that choose to deceive readers.

Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera

Recently, fake news has become rampant with all the political chaos going on around the world. Troublemakers have been commissioned to release misleading material to make readers lose confidence in governments and destroy the reputations of political leaders. Meanwhile, ones that aren’t political propaganda—well, we don’t really know what they’re there for.

So, how do we avoid falling victim to false claims and reports? Here are some questions to ask yourself when browsing through the internet.

Does it come with a disclaimer?

Photo courtesy of Real or Satire

Satire news falls into the sphere of convincing fictional news. Usually, these websites come with a disclaimer written in fine text hidden in the UI. You can check either the topmost portion of the layout or the bottom of the page.

Are the grammar and spelling in check?

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Sometimes, satire articles mess up grammar or spelling on purpose to let readers know what they’re writing is not real. If you get an inkling that the sentence structure doesn’t seem to be correct, better do more research to confirm what you’re reading is real.

Is it too good to be true?

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Ron Weber, an American radio announcer, once said “If it is too good to be true, if it sounds like a quick and easy deal, it’s probably a fraud.” In the case of online news, if it is unbelievable, it probably is fraudulent.

 What other kind of content are they posting?

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Sometimes, you can tell whether or not the source is a reliable one by reading its other articles. If the site has posted false content in the past, then you better not invest 100% of your trust.

Are other news sites saying the same thing?

Photo courtesy of Jobs For Every Juan

There are, however, websites out there that aren’t satire sites and claim to be legitimate sources. Confirm the news by checking more than one source. Stop, research, and think twice before hitting that share button.

The production and expansion of information and misinformation is incredibly fast. We don’t really have control over who writes what, but by being discerning readers, we can fight the spreading of fake news.