It’s not official until it’s on Facebook, right? A concept that may seem farfetched to some, but has become increasingly prevalent in this day and age.
When it comes to Internet news, it appears as if we’ve become conditioned to follow status rather than credibility. And with the amount of information constantly shoved in our faces, we tend to search for the simplest solution, which usually appears in the form of our ‘friends’ who also share content.
In a way we can blame our conditioning as well as our surroundings, and say that trusting ‘friends’ is easiest, but if we can’t distinguish between the credibility of news source, how can we then think of our friends as a credible source?
While mentioning this, Facebook has recently announced that it wants to educate, as well as tackle fake news, and has therefore conceptualised new efforts to stop the spread of false news.
“The social network says its systems are getting better at identifying fake accounts and monitoring the ways in which users interact with articles.”
So how do you spot fake news?
Be sceptical of catchy and sensational headlines
False news headlines are often written in all caps with exclamation marks! If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Investigate the source
To ensure that the story is written by a source you trust, check their “About Us” section to learn more. At the same time check if the source is known for writing parody pieces.
Check the formatting
Read carefully. False news often has misspellings or awkward layouts.
Look at the URL
False news websites mimic but then alter their URLs ever so slightly so look carefully.
Photos can be misleading
Images are manipulated, and although sometimes authentic, they may be taking out of context.