How To Spot Fake News
Fake news has become a real scourge online, and it’s just about everywhere you look. The problem is, it can be very damaging, and as it is almost always sensationalist, people share it – and fast. If you want to avoid the trap of fake news take a look at the following factors that are usually an indicator of a story not having much truth in it, or worse, being propaganda.
Recently there was an article about “sunctions” (sanctions) that was supposedly published by the BBC. The BBC is generally a reliable news source, but anyone who read the article would quickly see that the standard of journalism was pathetic, and that the spelling and grammar was nothing like you’d find on their site.
A Sensational Headline.. and not much else
Any headline should catch your attention, but when you read the rest of the article, you should be left feeling informed. A sensational headline followed by a very poorly written article or one that is clearly driving home hate speech, bias or propaganda is a clear sign of fake news.
Look at the URL
Fake news stories often come from what looks like, at first, a reputable URL. But on closer inspection you may find that although they look like a reputable news source, they are not. The infamous abcnews.com.co site caused ABC a number of problems as the URL confused so many people. Those who read the fake news were convinced it was real, and ABC had to do a lot of damage control. Just like when you check the URL of a site when enjoying the online betting NZ has to offer to ensure it is safe and SSL encrypted, you should check the URL of any news page you read to see that it is correct.
Lack of Sources
If an article is devoid of sources and has no quotes or direct links to the people mentioned or the event discussed, the chances are it is fake. If there is a noticeable lack of sources the chances are the article is fake, and it’s a good idea to do a Google search and see what else comes up under the topic. Chances are, you’ll find it has been fabricated.
Succumbing to Satire
There are a huge number of satirical sites online these days, so don’t get caught out thinking they are real news. So many people fall short thinking satirical news is real news and end up sharing it. Although this isn’t technically ‘fake’ news, as fake news is designed to spread controversial untruths, it can be just as dangerous if misinterpreted.
It’s ONLY on Social Media
If you see news on Twitter or Facebook but nowhere else, chances are, it is fake. Reputable news sites won’t only publish stories on social media, and those that do are doing so with the intention of making sure they are easy to spread and fast. That’s when you need to ask yourself why!