We’ve all come in contact with new information we later found out was fake, whether about a personality or an issue. With the kind of damage fictitious reports do, it’s crucial to understand what fake news is and how to spot them.
Meaning of Fake News
Fake news is information with fabricated stories. They have no credible sources, facts, or extracts. Sometimes, they’re propaganda plotted to deceive the readers or clickbait published for the writer’s financial gain.
These days, social media is a quick channel for people to spread their fake news.
Fake news may not just entail a completely false story. Such an article may incorporate a chunk of fact; however, lack any unique details. Some information may include fundamental truths, but the writer may utilize language intentionally inciting, excluding important information, or just introducing a single perspective.
Fake news can also be about misinformation or disinformation. Misinformation is untrue or inaccurate information that someone unintentionally creates or circulate. The objective isn’t to mislead. Comparatively, disinformation is false information intentionally formulated and published to influence people’s viewpoint or conceal the truth.
Misinformation and disinformation may generate from people for various reasons. It could be that the author wants to enjoy financial gain irrespective of the article’s content. A satirist may also be the source of fake news just for entertainment or to pass a message. Unskilled journalists are also sources of misinformation and disinformation. Another phony news source could be fanatics who want to gain new followers or influence political opinions and policymakers.
How to Spot Fake News: It's not impossible to spot fake news. See how below
Who is the source of the story? Is it a dependable or credible website? If you’re checking them out for the first time, examine their about page and read about the author.
2. Don't Just Read the Headline
More to a story than its headline – read into the article’s body because some headlines are to lure readers. Usually, writers of fake statements use capital letters for their headlines with an exclamation mark at the end.
3. Evaluate Other Sources
Who else is reporting the story? Always find out if other credible sources are writing about any story you read.
4. Examine the Facts
Sometimes fake news contains an inaccurate date or modified timelines. Also, check when the publisher released the article to see if it’s recent or just old news.
5. Evaluate Your Bias
Our biases get in the way of our critical thinking. While reading the news, check if your predisposition is influencing your conclusion about a report.
6. Check if it's a Joke
Satires’ websites are all over the internet. When it’s not obvious that a story is a hoax or a parody, find out if the website is famous for making up stories.
Combating Fake News
Thwarting fake news isn’t a walk in the park. Instead, the technological comfort of copying and pasting has made spreading phony information very easy. But then, you can do something about it.
The following ways will help you combat fake news with us:
1. Read Broadly
To comprehend an issue totally, gather information from various sources, including that which you consistently oppose. This tip will help you read with a critical mind. Moreover, by observing a piece of news for a prolonged time, you can derive a long-term viewpoint on what’s transpiring.
2. Like New Information
When you encounter news that disputes your understanding of a matter, don’t just condemn it. Instead, learn something from it. Make an immediate inquiry on Google to give you a concrete answer. Utilize your most reasonable judgment after getting a response and affirm your idea with credible evidence.
3. Don't Share Unverified News
When you haven’t verified the truth of the news, please don’t share it. Examine the story and question it thoroughly instead.
4. Consider How the Writer Presents the News
Well-written news should only inform readers and not entertain, incite or give any judgment. Check if the writer has written in a way formulated to make you feel a particular way.
For instance, when all you need is the latest best air purifier, check out various websites to ensure you’re not making a decision based on the writer’s bias.
5. Check Statistics
Has the writer provided any statistics? Find out how the writer has collected the statistics. Good journalists are transparent about how they get their evidence to make readers feel confident in their verdicts.
6. Discover What the Writer Hasn't Included
Unless you’re reading widely, knowing what information the writer has excluded in a news article would be challenging. As you read the news, check if the writer has excluded a particular perspective. This measure will help you get to the truth of the matter.
With this guide on how to spot and combat fake news, indeed, you’ll be reducing the effect of fake news around the world.