The internet is swamping with content. Bloggers and publishing firms are in hurry to post viral stories with hopes of increasing their traffic and revenue. With clickbait titles all over social platforms, most writers manage to feed people with fake news. Unfortunately, this state of affairs is going nowhere because social media is replacing mainstream media and every storyteller wants to share their version of every information they come across. The good news is that you can do something about it. Combating fake news requires collective efforts and here is what to do.
Read Beyond the Headline
Since most article writers are trying to sell through the headline, you will find many insincere and exaggerated headlines to attract viewers. But reading keenly, you will notice that the content could be wrong or even inaccurate. Sharing it without reading the entire article is a disservice and would contribute to fake news spreading. You need to read, understand, think critically, and make informed decisions before distributing it.
Verification from Reliable News Sources
How do you know the story is true? You should look further from two other news publishers that are reputable. These sources could be the mainstream media or any other online platform that has built trust to deliver correct news over the years. If you cannot go through the hassle of verifying the news from other channels, do not share it because you might be spreading fake news.
Is the Content Current?
It is essential for you to know about the dates the news is bearing. They could be a repost of the past and irrelevant to current events. If the content is of the past, let it go.
Biases and Motivation
The motivation behind the fake news is to sell or malign the name of someone or a business. If you ask yourself about the motive behind a piece of news, you will go to the extent of verifying its sources. Then there is the problem of inclinations. Of course, biases are different from outright lies, but they can provide situations for sneaking in lies. You need to be aware of this fact while you read an article.
Source of Information
Content has to draw its information from somewhere. If it contains links, click on them and see if the information there corresponds to what the article is suggesting. If the article is about someone or a business, find the website of the subject and get their side of the story. Again you need to find out if the statistics are accurate from reliable research sites.
Report and Inform Others
If you have read the content and convinced that it is fake, take time and inform authorities, friends, and family about it. Tell relatives and friend and encourage them to spread the word about the fake news. Also, advice them never to read or share news from sources that are unknown. Through this, you can help to curb information that might stir hatred and cause conflict.
Writers are people and would make honest mistakes. When they do, be forgiving and inform them to correct their mistakes. When they know that you are watching, they will do their research better and write informative content. This way you combat fake news without much struggle.