With the prevalence of fake news in today’s digital landscape, it’s important to cultivate a habit of being able to identify it before sharing it. Fake news is information that has been specifically crafted to spread false or inaccurate information with the intention to mislead, manipulate, or deceive readers. It can come in the form of false reports, rumors, conspiracy theories, and/or hoaxes and can be shared via traditional news outlets, social media, and messaging apps.
Because it can be difficult to tell what’s real from what’s fake, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on how to spot fake news before sharing it.
1. Check the Source
The first step to identifying fake news is to check the source. Be wary of information coming from unfamiliar websites, social media accounts, and people. Do some research on the source and look for any red flags such as a lack of author information, poor website design, and lack of contact information. If you’re unable to find any reliable and credible information about the source, then it’s best to avoid sharing it.
2. Look for Evidence
Before sharing any news, it’s important to look for evidence to back up the claims. If the news seems too good to be true or too outrageous to believe, then there’s a good chance it’s fake. Look for factual information, sources, and quotes from reliable sources. If the news is lacking any evidence to back up the claims or is based on a single source, then it’s likely fake.
3. Check the Date
Another way to identify fake news is to check the date of the story. If the story is old news, then it’s likely fake. News outlets and social media accounts typically don’t post old news, so it’s important to be wary of any stories that seem to be outdated.
4. Consider the Motive
It’s important to consider the motive behind the news. Fake news typically has an agenda behind it such as to manipulate, deceive, or influence people. Be wary of any news that’s one-sided or focuses on sensationalizing the story.
5. Be Skeptical
Finally, it’s important to be skeptical of any news. Don’t make the mistake of believing everything you read or hear. Take the time to do your own research and verify the accuracy of the information before sharing it.
By following these tips, you can help prevent the spread of fake news and ensure that only accurate and reliable information is being shared. Remember, it’s always best to double-check before sharing any news.