When scrolling through the internet or social media, individuals are overwhelmed by news and stories. Misinformation is common nowadays, so assessing which story is credible or false is challenging. Before the internet, people used to take their news through a trusted medium, which has changed dramatically due to the ease of media industry regulations. Stick to the end of this article to learn ten excellent tips to spot fake news.
1. Check the Source of the News
If you are still determining the source, dig before believing unquestioningly. Open the website and see if the website looks legit or fake; look for some writing errors. Fake news sites often have less conventional domains like “infonet” or “com”. However, people spreading phony news often make web pages that look official. To avoid this, look at the website's “About Section” to get some more insight into the website.
2. Check the Author's Information
Quickly research the author's profile and see if they are credible. For example, see if they are experts in their writing field. Try to assess what their motivation or agenda might be. Analyze their news. Do they exaggerate? If yes, then cross-check the information through other sources.
3. Develop Critical Mindset
People tend to be more emotional nowadays, which is one of the main reasons they get trapped by fake news. One big issue with fake stories is that they are cleverly written and provoke emotions like fear or anger. Which made these stories look believable. To tackle this, maintain a critical mindset and ask yourself, “Why is this story written? Does it promote a particular agenda? Does this want me to redirect to another site?
4. Check the Story on Other Places
Check who else is reporting the story you are reading. You should review the story from the media outlet that you trust. If other media outlets are reporting the story, then check their credibility. You can start by checking through professional news agencies like Reuters and BBC as they have professionally trained staff of reporters and editors.
5. Look Out for Photoshopped Images
Advanced editing software is available, so fake news outlets mostly use photoshopped or manipulated images. You can see if the image has been changed by closely looking at the picture. Remember that images can be 100 percent accurate but used in the wrong context. You can use tools like Google Reverse to check this.
6. Examine the Facts
Credible media outlets share stories with authentic facts and incorporate important dates and surveys. You should only trust the source if these details are included and avoid if false information is included. To be safe, cross-check the facts, whether the incident happened or not, for which the article was published.
7. Beware of the Jokes
Critically analyze if the website is satirical. Such websites are popular because they make the story a parody or joke. Check if the website is consistently creating satirical stories and is popular for parody or joke.
8. Think and Read Beyond the Headline
Headlines can sometimes be outrageous to get more clicks. You should read beyond the headline to check if the story contains realistic facts or authentic information. After that, look for the evidence that supports the event happened. A credible story has official statistics and eyewitness accounts.
9. Check Your Biases
We all have biases that could influence our judgments. Consider putting your preferences aside when reading a story. Social media shows results according to your browsing history and interests. We should read through a variety of sources to draw accurate conclusions.
10. Consult a Fact Checking Website
Fake news relies on its users sharing and retweeting the story. If you need more clarification about the story, stop and fact-check that story before sharing. Fact-checking sites can help you determine whether the story is credible. These fact-checking websites work independently and review and research the accuracy of the information. Here are some websites you can use for fact-checking: Snopes, PolitiFact Fact Check, and BBC Reality Check.
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