Following the Pulwama terror attack a few months ago, netizens took on to social media to express grief and condolences for the martyred CRPF men. But within hours, thousands started sharing fake news related to the attack. Several media giants and other fact-checking watchdogs warned people to stop sharing them Fake news leads to severe consequences, sometimes even causing death and riots. In this article, I explain how to spot fake news.
Read and verify the source
Fake stories are designed to look real and they will deceive you. It's essential to fact check them. The best way to spot fake news is to actually read it. Ask yourself if it's authentic. Question everything you read. Never share a web link, an audio file or a video without having a look.
Google about the article you read. Verify the source. Check the website address. Do they sound authentic? Have you heard of this news agency before? Check for the link’s ‘About’ page and mine for more articles. There is a chance that you might sniff a suspicious content. It is advisable to Google about the content you have received and see if other media sites have carried it.
Perhaps, you might come across a ‘trustable media website’ claiming that this content is false. Better yet, always access news from
well known media houses like BBC, AFP, AP, PTI, Reuters, CNN, NBC, ABC, to name a few.
Install browser security apps
There are dozens of browser security apps available for free on Google Play Store and Apple app store. It's important to install them. Such apps are good at red flagging suspicious websites, behaving like a digital armor for your phone. Apps to consider include Avast, Kaspersky, AVG, McAfee and many more.
Down the drain
If your friends share fake news on social media, tell them that its fake. Red flag the content on every social media site by clicking the ‘report’ button. Some netizens even share graphic videos depicting violence. History has taught us that inflicting violence, fuels more violence.
(Share in comments how fake news can be curbed. I'd love to hear your suggestions)