Fake news takes no prisoners, even here at Gadgets. We recently shared a post about a Pornhub tab that appeared during a CNN broadcast. We later received a Facebook notification, telling us that the video was in fact, fake. With our lesson learnt, we’ll take a look at how to spot fake news, and you can learn along with us!
How to spot fake news
Apart from knowing what fake news is, we must know what fake news isn’t. Just because a news story conflicts with your political and personal opinion does not mean it isn’t real. The first thing to look out for are sensational headlines. The more bombastic, the more you need to check and check again.
After that, verify the source. Some websites will be outright false, others specialise in conspiracy theories, whereas others are simply satirical websites. Check the about section just to be sure.
Read and read some more
Read beyond the headline and the one story. If more than one verified news site is reporting the subject, then it’s more credible. Also check the date of publication – some sites will reshare old news because they’ll still make waves in a modern context.
Snopes and Politifact are two excellent fact-checking websites that will check claims being made and keep lists of fake news stories. Above all, try to avoid political bias, and vary your news sources.
Social media is not a news outlet
Though news is circulated through it, social media is by no means an actual news portal. Though we might be inclined to share a story because it appears to be hot news, we need to take a step back and verify that what we’re sharing is genuinely true.