Mr. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America said it all when he said it’s “fake news”. The term spread like wild fire. Yet, how can you know the difference between real news and the fake hyped up social media sensations? Is it even possible to distinguish the real from the virally charged lies set at getting hits?
Here are some tips to help you get it right more often.
5. Know the source
The source of the information should serve as a big red sign and/or confirmation. For example, you may be less trusting of tabloids with anonymous sources, than hard news from a credible investigative news outlet reporting on hard news with verified sources.
4. Check second opinion
Ever heard of news spreading like wild fire? There’s some truth to it. If it’s that good, then there should most likely be another opinion out there to render another opinion on the matter. Don’t just fall for everything you read without doing some “research” (which may be as easy as a Google search).
3. Check portals that search for fake news
There are dedicated apps and portals that are out there to dispel myths and expose hoaxes. What’s cool about these is that they are already bundled together and you may even be able to get more information on where the hoax originated from.
2. Use your mind
Excuse the pun, but if it sounds too good to be true, it is most likely because it is fake news. Lies. A bunch of viral sensationalism targeted at the masses who don’t interrogate what they read. Some things are ridiculous. Totally outrageous. And yet, the gullible fall for them. After all, if it is written down, it has to be true… Right? Wrong.
1. Read the entire article
The headline is designed to draw your attention and may be spiced up to get you reading. It is therefore vital to engage with the entire piece and to understand it within its context. With all due respect, a millionaire (who possesses Zim Dollars and another having Euros), may lead to different interpretations if you take time to read beyond the headline.
When navigating this world full of information overload, it is important to go in with a conscious outlook with a thirst for knowledge. Unless you interrogate the information before you, you’re bound to get consumed by fake news.
Use reason and that stuff between your ears. Remember what’s needed to say things right and what’s merely there to entice and spark virality. Be alert.