The Latest thing circulating the news and social media in recent months is the rise in Fake News.
Actually fake news is nothing new, its just the first time anyone has found a name for it.
Here are a few simple tips in how to avoid being duped by Fake News.
1 – Do I know this website?
One obvious question you should always ask yourself! If its not a news site you’ve ever heard of before then take extra care. Stick to posts from well known News sites Daily Mail, Guardian The Telegraph etc. etc.
2- Which country does the news orgionate from?
This can be more tricky to spot but if your news post takes you, or has links to a a website outside of the social media site then its worth checking out the url.
A story about an attach on a muslim in the UK found on a website in Russia is less likely to be trustworthy. So “www.Dailynews.Ru” or “www.dailynews.bg” are best avoided for your primary soource of information. A little bit of digging around can reveal a lot about the origins of the news site.
3 – Check Mate!
Before reposting any story always double check it against other sources. A quick search on Google, Bing or Yahoo will soon indicate if your news item is trust worthy. Any true story is very unlikely to only appear once across the whole of the internet. usually more then one Media Mogul has long since got his hands on it.
4- All news is Fake to some degree
The most imporant thing you have to remember is that News is a commodity which is sold to comsumers, therefore any news you read almost always has a hidden agenda. Its what we call “The Angle” in reality the hidden agenda is always the comodity itself. Its always trying to sell more news papers or get more followers or more airtime. and so much of the news you read has been very cleverly written to emphasise a certain angle aimed at selling to you, the consumer. In the end news papers are written by people and all people have opinions about what we read. Much of the news we read is actually not “news” but just “someone’s opinion on the news”
Further more Newspapers often align themselves with a prticular political bias. Maybe its a hard right media corporation like Fox News or something more to the left of socialism such as the Morning Star. We often forget these underlying bias positions when we read the news. We should always keep a critical eye out even if we might agree with the political position.
A good question to ask yourself when making an assesment on a news story is: “How is this story making money?” and “Who is being negatively portrayed and why?” Always try to find an opposing article on the same subject which has a different slant.
It might sound a bit non-conformist and sceptical but these are good principles to bear in mind. Don’t trust anything your read and know your own mind. Whatever opinion you have on someone else based purely on what you’ve read its VERY unlikely to be a true reflection on who they actually are.