Fake news is as old as news itself, yet in a time with unprecedented and increasing access to information like our world today, one would think that it would be harder to spread fake news, unfortunately, it is not.
The universe of “fake news” is much larger than simply false news stories. Some stories may have a nugget of truth but lack any contextualizing details. They may not include any verifiable facts or sources. Some stories may include basic verifiable facts, but are written using language that is deliberately inflammatory, leaves out pertinent details or only presents one viewpoint. “Fake news” exists within a larger ecosystem of mis- and disinformation.
As the fake or misleading information has benefitted from the growing feasibility of spreading information, it has become the responsibility of the reader to identify and point out fake news, which can be done through easy steps that take less than a minute.
- Always make sure you are reading your news from credible sources
- Read the whole article not just the headline as they are sometimes misleading
- Assess the supporting sources of the news
- Check the date of publication to make sure that it is up to date and relevant
- Check if the source known for its satirical content
- Make sure that your own biases are not the reason you are spreading this news rather than its credibility
It is always useful to seek expert’s opinion before sharing news whether political, economic, medical, etc. as they might help you understand the whole picture and the different points of views around the subject.