How to identify fake news online?

by Kate
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The Internet has countless amount of information which allows people find information on absolutely different topics. At the same time, among that information, one can find an abundance of untrustworthy material including a giant number of fake news.

Even if you are a specialist in some field, you can still might find it difficult to identify fake news related to it. That is why it is important to be able to understand what is real and what is not in order not to believe in made-up facts.

Read the entire material rather than only a title

Certainly, there are so many articles published on the net every day that it might be rather difficult for you to read all of them. You are not alone. Studying the material published online requires a lot of time indeed.

It is natural that many people resign from reading whole articles and just get a brief understanding of the news judging by their title. This is a very wrong approach. Of course, as you can imagine, the news titles have to be extremely capturing to attract your attention. That is why even if an article is not about fake news, it can still easily create a false impression about the event with its title. And, using thrilling titles, many writers can create articles of a rather low quality.

The research made on the way the Internet users are reading articles showed that many articles which the users of social networks are sharing with each other are never read at all. For example, 59% of posts shared on Twitter remain unread while people are sharing them with each other.

Check the source of news

Undeniably, it is important to pay attention to the website where you see an article. For example, there are websites which are trying to copy the appearance of large information portals and even its name attracting readers. Not all of the blogs and newly created websites are trustworthy either. The same goes for channels and accounts working on the social networks.

Many authors are basing their articles on the articles which have already been published by the major information portals. At the same time, there is always the initial source of news which is usually mentioned in the article. That is why it is crucial to read entire material so that you will be able to understand exactly where a piece of information is coming from.

Some news are announced by official organs, in the case of others, the initial information is shared by an expert of some field, whereas other is provided by witnesses. At the same time, you can find a variety of articles which are operating exclusively with overgeneralised phrases such as “some research”, “scientists” and so on which are not referring to any particular person. Such articles cannot be reliable. In all likelihood, they are just created by the author of the news rather than based on real information.

By the way, you should be careful while reading information published around such days as for example, April Fool’s Day. During that time, the Internet is filled with fake news created on purpose for the sake of laughing, however, even the most reliable information portals might oversee the fact the news published was just a joke and share it with their readers as if it were some serious information.

Try to find an original publication of a piece of news

One of the popular tricks used by the authors of fake news is referring to large information platforms including foreign ones. It is a good idea to look for some similar publications online and also to make a small research for the original publication on foreign websites. This can help you to see whether a website where you have just read the information has changed anything in the news material.

Of course, one of the simplest things you can do which does not require much time from you is just to check the experts mentioned in the article. Sometimes, their names are made up in fake news.

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