Fake news. We must declare this word as omnipresent. From morning WhatsApp forwards to evening twitter or Fb timeline, it’s everywhere. Not just social media, news channels are also brimmed with fake information. The proliferation of fake news is dangerous for common people. They’re more vulnerable to fake information as they don’t know the difference between fake and accurate. Without being aware of how to fact-check, we all have probably shared a fake piece of news at least once. Come on, let’s face it. You’ve probably done it many times.
Viral videos, images on Facebook, and Twitter, most of them are fake and malicious. The information distributed via WhatsApp family groups is mostly fake.
But no one talks about it, even though you’re a part of the family group. Most of us prefer to ignore it. Reason? Well, you’re tired of debunking news of family groups. Members of these groups are unable to pay attention that this could be fake. Lack of knowledge about fact-check or basic of understanding the difference led them in sharing fake information.
Your hurried and fast-paced lifestyle is making you the victim of fake news. It’s time to get basics of fact check by spending a little time and effort. Don’t let yourself be fooled.
Recently, a series of images of a boy were doing rounds on the internet. People were sharing it with the caption, “This boy is trying to rescue a baby deer from the raging floodwaters in Assam”. This claim is not true. The images are from Bangladesh when people witnessed massive floods there in 2014. Despite being debunked, fake news thrives on social media. Still, you can save yourself from sharing it by following some steps.
Read the information closely
First and foremost thing, whatever information you’ve seen or received, read it carefully. If it presses you to share, it could be a rumor or fake piece. Click baits news circulate like this only. People share by looking at the headline. So don’t be in a hurry to share anything or everything. Lack of time is one of the intrinsic reasons that fake pieces circulate on the internet. Henceforth reading the information deeply can save you from sharing wrong information.
Search on the internet to double-check
Now you’ve read the information. If it raises a doubt, don’t stop yourself from checking on the internet about it. Things you’ve to keep in mind while surfing the internet:
- Determine whether the information is from a legitimate website. Like there’s the news “Corona spread from mosquitoes”. You get it from WhatsApp forward, your next step is to double-check on the internet. Whether any study website or legitimate website published it or not.
- Check the ‘About Us’ section of the website. It helps you to find whether the website is fake or real.
- Lookout the published date of the information. It’s a substantial one.
Scrutinize the sources
Sometimes news websites can share fake news, knowingly or unknowingly. To save yourself, if some information is from a legitimate source but sensitive and could be wrong. Don’t press the share button. Knowing the source could save you on the battlefield of fake news. Now, much news is merely based upon a tweet. That’s how tweet goes viral on Twitter. There are many political and propaganda-driven tweets. If a source is “a friend of a friend”, this is a big no. That’s how the chain of fake information works. Be aware of it before sharing anything. If your source has no links to prove the authenticity of the information, this is a telltale sign you’re reading fake news.
Confusingly some news is a mixture of fake and correct information, which makes a reader to determine whether it’s accurate or fake. That’s why scrutinizing the sources is meaningful.