10 Steps to Spot Fake News
By Opeyemi Kehinde
Sorting out fact from fiction in today’s ‘global village’ has become very important amidst the ‘infodemic’ we’re experiencing. Below are steps you can follow to detect fake news whenever you see one:
- Is the publisher credible? Check the website’s ‘about us’ and ‘contact’ pages to verify its authenticity. Just because the website is popular among your family or friends doesn’t mean its content is factual.
- Ascertain the originality of the domain name or social media account which shared the article or posted the photo or video.
- Check to see that the author is also credible. Google search his name to see if he/she has published other things. Don’t forget to confirm who created the social media account, wrote the article, capture or post the online content.
- Verify that the sources cited in the article or visual are also credible. Also, check if the information is available on other news websites.
- Check the date the article or photo or video was posted. Verify that it wasn’t an old news which was reposted as current event.
- Ask yourself: Are they biased? Does the article present one side of the story? Are there some parts of the story left out or unexplained? Be skeptical.
- Ascertain that the sources or related links posted supports the news story.
- Watch out for most common errors involving Names, Titles, location, spelling errors and dramatic punctuations, among others. Check to know if the news report isn’t being taken out of context
- Check that the headline isn’t outrageous. Try read beyond those fascinating or emotion-inducing headlines and the report’s introductory part.
- Search fact-checking websites to confirm if the information has already been verified or debunked.