Facebook today is no longer a platform used to connect with our loved ones, Facebook is now one of the biggest players of the social media industry, and one of the leading platform to transfer information across the globe.
It’s this ease of information sharing that leads to the great numbers of fake news spreading today. Some may brush it off and say that fake news should not be of a big concern. However, some of these fake news concerns history or even health conspiracies of communities.
The spread of this misinformation may one day blind us to the truth, and the following are tips you should remember to spot if what you’re seeing is fake news or not.
Look for the Blue Check Logos
An approved account from Facebook has a blue check symbol beside their name, as a badge of recognition towards that particular page. Take for example the official pages of ABS-CBN, GMA, CNN, and other major news platforms on Facebook.
The blue check symbol is granted by Facebook to pages who underwent the authentication process, to prove that the owners of those pages are under the supervision of the person or company the page represents.
Don’t Be Fooled by Headlines
Headlines are meant to stir your interest and provide a shocking effect to reel you in to read further. The problem is how people rely on these headlines alone as a form of knowing the whole context of the information.
As mentioned, headlines are meant to catch the audience’s interest, and in most cases, headlines will state half-truth and half-lie to gather attention.
One example is reading a post with a headline “A mysterious plant from Africa can cure cancer!” People will flock to that, and without clicking you weren’t able to see that the possibility of the plant’s cure is only a hypothesis that underwent a bias medical research or small-scale research only.
Therefore, remember to take your time to read and not just rely on the headlines presented on Facebook posts.
Check Legitimacy of Sources
You’ve checked the blue logo, and read the whole information put on the post, the next thing you should know if checking the legitimacy of the sources.
Information that mentions findings or researches from an unknown source is a big sign to stay away from that post.
In cases where the posts include their source, it’s also important to visit their source and confirm if it’s a legitimate provider of information.
Cross Check Information to Other Sources
Do not rely on one source only. As mentioned, it’s easy to put up information on Facebook, backlinking to affiliated sources to make fake news more believable became so easy thanks to the power of digital technology.
Cross-check information to other sources, whenever you’re seeing a post, this way you can confirm if other legitimate sources of information are also providing the same piece of information.
Be a Critical Thinker
People who are spreading fake news today are becoming smarter and better and getting misinformation out there.
Always think critically, and don’t always make headlines and context at face value, conduct your research. Take a moment to research the facts and step back and assess if you’re being presented with the truth or a lie.