In the age of social media, it becomes challenging to sift the truth from the false.
Teachers in various schools and colleges are instructing pupils on how to differentiate true news from the fake ones.
The online news comes in all shades. Hence, Facebook and Associated Press along with other organisations can help in curbing the circulation of fake news.
Some of the red flag pointers are as follows:
If the URL seems odd or has a ‘com.co’ ending on an otherwise genuine looking website, it is a fake news site. If you further wish to find out more, read the ‘contact’ and ‘about’ section. It is very unlikely that a news channel would be headquartered in a suite or in a residential area.
Does the news upset you?
One of the prime objectives of fake news is to generate strong negative emotions. If you feel that you are mad after reading the piece of news, there are chances that it might be fake. Though this is not an accurate parameter. Reading about atrocities committed by Islamists around the world is disturbing but not fake.
Reporting by various channels
The best thumb rule is that if the news is real, other news channels are surely reporting it as well. The exception is that the channels are owned or backed by a specific political or corporate house or follows an ideology that is contrary to what the news is about, such as non-reporting of crimes committed by Islamists.
Authentic news channels hire writers with impeccable grammar and writing skills. If the article has too many question marks and exclamation marks at the end of the sentences, then perhaps the piece is not genuine.
Google the names
Another easy way is to Google the names of the characters in the story. If you find search results with the typed in name, then there are high chances that the story is real.
FactCheck. org and Snopes.com are two websites who can find out the validity of the news piece.
Satires are not real
Do not dismiss the piece of news as fake as yet. It just might be a satire and satires aren’t meant to fool. It could be a hilarious or a satirical take on the news piece.
Think before sharing
The Internet nowadays has enabled everyone to publish stories. Hence, practice due diligence, prudence and caution before you share the news.