The advancement of technology over the years has made it easier to get news and keep up with current affairs from different parts of the world. With lots of media outlets and social media pages dishing out a variety of information almost every day, you might need help knowing which news is authentic.
Identifying Authentic News?
This article highlights five things to check when you receive news, especially from the internet. The Source of the News This is always a giveaway about the credibility of news or information. Before you believe any news, make sure you check if the source is a well-known and respected organization or news outlet.
Also, you want to check if the information being passed across has concrete evidence backing it, such as time of incidence, location of incidence, and witnesses that can affirm this news. Are there other news outlets talking about or broadcasting the said news? If not, chances are the information is fake and merely speculation.
Search for similar news and comments
Research notes that 90% of false or misleading information is usually shared on social media by people who want to elicit strong reactions or emotions from their readers or followers. Most of these people do it for clicks and attention on social media.
You want to go through the comments section thoroughly when you come across such posts. Check for the number of people that have heard of the said “information” or “report” and find out how many people have found the news legitimate or misleading. If everyone is calling it out as fake, it’s probably fake.
Check the authenticity of the website
The most prominent avenue used to propel fake news is the internet. This is why paying attention to the website URL when you stumble on any suspicious news is essential. Google the website and cross-check the names of the domain to make sure the news you are consuming is from a trusted source or reputable media outlet.
Keep an ear out for news stations on television or radio. If it’s a viral post, they will verify the information and broadcast it. You must tread even more carefully if the news pops up on social media for verification.
Use a fact-checking website
There are several websites available on the World Wide Web that allow you to check the authenticity of a news source. These websites provide this solution to prevent fake news from spreading. When you read suspicious information, run it through any fact-checking websites. They would flag any inaccurate information.
Don’t be too quick to digest information
Several applications modify or edit images to make things seem real. These images are usually used to spread propaganda or half-truths. This is why avoiding taking information that appears on your social media feed at face value is important.
Train your mind to cross-examine every piece of information you stumble on and check for discrepancies and inconsistencies in the body of the message. Check the pictures or images for signs that may have been edited. You can look for things like bent or jagged edges and how the light interacts with the photos.
You could also use search engines to look up pictures of other places where they have been used repeatedly. Chances are, if the image is legitimate, it will pop up on other sites with similar information.
Finally, be quick to share information with verification. Think about the news; what type of reaction has it elicited from you? How will others react? Will the news incite violence? Critically analyze how others would respond to it and verify before sharing it. Read this article to find out more about protecting yourself from fake news.