Unmasking the Threat of Fake News: Navigating the Digital Maze
Understanding the Proliferation of Fake News
There are four categories of make news which include: False, misleading sites that are shared on social media, websites that contain misleading, unreliable information, websites that tend to use clickbait-y headlines, and comedy sites that offer critical commentary on society and politics. There are multiple ways to distinguish real news from fake news, but it’s up to you to do it. When you’re investigating news and trying to determine if it’s legit or not, you should take a couple of notes.
Determine if the source of the link is credible, point out clear false information throughout the article, background check the information given, find source citations, if graphs are given, check to make sure it makes numerical sense, double check for misspellings and other grammar errors. All over the world, fake news has dramatically increased. Fake news content encourages people to click the link. The more people click on these sites are considered “traffic.” The more traffic a site gets, the more it will look legit. Those who are behind these fake accounts benefit by attracting traffic which increases funding for more advertisements.
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Personal Encounters with Fake News on Social Media
As I scrolled down Facebook, I ran into some ads that looked kind of fishy. Before I intended to click the link, I determined if the advertisements had any broad errors. After clicking on certain links that offered something “FREE,” they asked me to fill out a survey. Any link that says they’re going to give me something free, I automatically consider it to be a scam. Obviously, this specific ad had a poorly worded headline and non-legit links and sources. Another link I decided to click informed me of tips to dodge “COVID-19”. As I scrolled down to check the source, it wasn’t credible.
The only credible sources that I would legit believe are anything from medical sites or scientists. This link had authors that I didn’t recognize. The last link that I clicked took me to a blank pop-up window, so, of course, that link isn’t credible. Although fake news and media are increasing, it’s not that hard to tell fake from real. The reason advertisers get away with contributing fake news to the public is that they are able to pay for ads and promotions. The more you pay to get something advertised, the more traffic & customers willing to give it a try.
Guidelines for Recognizing Authentic News
Tips for evaluating news sources include: Read past the headline, see if you recognize the new outlet featuring the story, double check the date and time the article was published, consider whether or not you recognize the author, look for links and sources and lastly, look for reports on the same story through other news outlets. Sometimes legit sources sometimes use poorly worded headlines which makes them questionable. So many false misinformation ads, links, and promotions go undiscovered. Therefore, it is highly important for consumers to use critical thinking skills to eliminate falling for “fake news.” Fake advertising is designed to look real. Many believe that just because it was made to look real, it is real. For example, those sites with quality graphic designs are more prone to trick consumers.
The Role of URLs and the Dangers of Naivety
It is also important to pay close attention to links’ “URL” A legit link usually ends in .com or .net. Those links with unfamiliar URL data should automictically make you think twice about engaging in the site. Some people know nothing about fake news, which makes them more venerable to get tricked. If more people knew how to detect fake news, a lot of people wouldn’t get scammed.
Using the tips and techniques to determine real vs. fake news should be shared with all. It doesn’t take a lot to re-check the sites you visit for credibility. No one wants to be misled with false information regarding their community. However, with everything that’s going on now, COVID-19 – there are a lot of fake articles going around informing people “how to cure coronavirus.” As a consumer, you shouldn’t that these things lightly, and you also shouldn’t believe anything you see on the internet.
- “How to Spot Fake News” by FactCheck.org. FactCheck.org.
- “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning” by Stanford History Education Group. Stanford University.
- “Identifying Misinformation: An Introduction to the INFO Protocol” by American Library Association. American Library Association.