How to Spot Fake News

The Internet has helped a lot in terms of obtaining information that can be useful to our daily lives. Thanks to websites such as YouTube, Google, and Yahoo, we can now get the information we need by typing a few words, and then the data will be right in front of you. Also, you can check out ericmaddox.com for some helpful tips if you want to be more effective in listening and gathering information online.

A report from the Pew Research Center revealed that about half of people aged 50 and below use the internet as a primary source of news and other current events. The same report revealed that people 30 years old and below preferred catching up on daily news online rather than watching the news on TV.

But just like everything else, the Internet also has cons. A few years ago, the word “fake news” became popular in reference to misleading reports and news. Apparently, fake news has vastly spread all over social media, which is also a significant source of information for billions of people around the globe.

What exactly is fake news?

There are two major types of fake news. On one hand, some articles or posts contain partial truths. Meaning, some parts of it are not correct or are somewhat twisted.

On the other hand, there are those stories that are not entirely true at all. Most likely, this news is made to twist the truth or inflict damage on a person or an organization. Meanwhile, fake news exists as a way to deceive people into availing a product or into visiting a questionable website for the primary sake of views.

As mentioned, fake news has become more accessible on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Fake news is spread deliberately, but others also tend to spread fake news without knowing the truth behind it. Nonetheless, fake news can cause confusion and even unnecessary fear among Internet users.

How to spot fake news

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Admit it or not, we have been a victim of fake news at least once in our lives. You might have even shared at least one fake news without realizing it is actually “fake.” Here are some ways to spot fake news on the Internet:

  • Check the news source or retrieved from reliable news sources (ex. CNN, Reuters, etc.). If the website sounds fishy and unfamiliar, dig deeper and determine whether it can be a trustworthy news source or not.
  • You can also determine whether the site is legit if it ends with .com, .net, or .co.uk. Check for spelling errors and poor grammar. If it looks cringy enough, get out of that site ASAP.
  • Try using Google Reverse Image Search to check whether the image used for the news is legit or fake.
  • Trust your gut feeling. If the news sounds weird or unrealistic, you can do your own fact-checking. Check from trusted sources online. More importantly, do not click fishy links, or it may potentially cause viruses on your mobile phone or desktop.

Finding information online can be easier nowadays. However, it is still our responsibility to double-check where we get updates from. The given pointers will help you avoid being a victim of fake news and lessen the spread of such potentially damaging news.

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