How to spot fake news
Fake news has been popping up a lot recently. It is to be expected, with media being spread across Facebook and Twitter like wildfire without the sources actually being validated. And it seems the more ridiculous the story, the faster it spreads. Fake news articles aren’t the only things that are spread. Many people are falling for the ‘share with 7 people, type L and win a R 1 000 000’ stories popping up as well as the ‘subscribe, share and win’ groups.
There are quite a few ways to spot fake deals, news or posts. Here are some of the easiest ways:
- Check the source link: A lot of sources are known to be shady. Not only would the source be shady, but something like SA Satire News or The Onion should shout click bait.
- Google the story: If trusted sources (like News24, IOL or EWN) is reporting the same thing, then it’s a valid story. If not, chances are it’s made up to attract clicks and gain revenue.
- Common sense: Think about it – If a cure for cancer was discovered, why is only this one link reporting on this. If Portugal winning the Euro 2016 is creating the media buzz that it is, a cure for cancer would have broken the internet.
- Check if it’s a hoax: This is easy. Take 5 minutes, before sharing your post, to check if the post exists on Hoaxslayer or Snopes. If those two websites don’t reveal any similar stories, then go ahead and share if it sounds possible.
- Share and Win: The possibility of a share and win group by a well known company being fake is 99%. Especially if it’s for something big like a house or a car. These groups are normally made under the fake ‘Share and Win’ title, to get users into a group, after which the group is changed to something different, and spammed with more ridiculous hoaxes.
Spotting a fake story is very easy if you know what to look for. Most of it’s click bait to get visitors to their sites, which are loaded with ads, in an order to get clicks on ads.
Some sites may even be more harmful by installing adware on your PC without your consent.