False news spreads quickly on social media such as Facebook. To reduce the spread, platforms have started removing fake accounts and disrupting the financial incentives for people sharing fake news. They are also using signals such as community feedback to identify stories that are false. There are certain countries where independent fact-checkers are hired and any stories flagged by these checkers will appear lower in news feeds. If domains or pages repeatedly create or share fake news, their distribution and advertising rights are removed.
Social platforms are also empowering their users by showing them how to determine which news and articles they should trust according to anonymous news website The Doe. While these platforms are working to reduce the misinformation on their sites, you need to know what you should look for to spot fake news.
Be Wary Of Headlines
Catchy headlines are used by fake news stories to grab attention. These headlines may be in all caps or they could have a number of exclamation marks. If the claims in the headlines are shocking and sound unbelievable, they are probably fake.
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Look At The Link
Another warning sign of fake news is look-alike links or fake links. A lot of fake news websites will mimic authoritative news outlets and make small changes to the link. You should go to the site to compare the link to the source.
Investigate The Source
Before you believe a story, you need to check the source. It should be one that you trust and that has a reputation for accuracy in reporting. If the story is from an outlet you are unfamiliar with, you should read their about section to better understand them. The Doe ensure that all articles that are published are verified.
Is There Unusual Formatting?
A lot of false news websites will have layouts that are awkward or hard to use. They will also have misspellings scattered across the site. These signs will appear if you take the time to carefully read the content.
Consider The Photos
A lot of false stories will have images or videos that have been manipulated to suit their narrative. These photos could be authentic, but they are taken out of context for use in the article. It is recommended that you search for the photos to verify where and when they came from.
Look At The Dates
A lot of fake news stories will detail timelines that make no sense. They will also alter dates to ensure they fit into what they want you to believe. Take the time to check the dates and whether they are correct.
Look At The Evidence
Before you believe what the author says, check their sources and confirm they are accurate and legitimate. If there is a complete lack of evidence or the only evidence comes from unnamed experts, you are likely looking at a false news story.
Look At Other Reports
If there is no other news agency reporting the same story, it is an indication that it is fake. If the story has been reported by multiple trusted networks, it is more likely to be true.
Is The Story A Joke?
It can be hard to separate fake news from satire. You should check if the source is known for parody news and if the tone or details suggest it has been made up for fun.