Fake Online News and How You Can Avoid It
With the recent stories online and in the news about Brexit and whether we are for it, or against it, we have seen some fairly far-fetched articles appearing on our social media news feed. Some of them even going as far as striking fear into readers across the UK and around the world. While it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction, many of these so-called news stories are what the industry is calling “fake news”. Deciding which articles are true and which ones are made up for rating purposes can be challenging but we are here to help you sort through the news and find the articles that are worth clicking on.
What is “fake news”?
Much of the fake news that we encounter online are not coming from paid journalists and fact-checking websites. Fake news comes from non-reputable sites that are only after your click. Unfortunately, everything that is seen in our news feed is often taken as real news and, although we don’t click on the article, it still somehow embeds itself into our brain as fact.
Fake news is made up and associated with real websites tricking readers into thinking that they are reading actual news. How do you spot fake news articles and what can you do about them?
The best thing you can do is to use common sense. Whether you are for or against a particular issue, you should still ask yourself if the story you have just read is to good to be true or if you are just wanting it to be true. Many fake news articles are based on actual news stories and readers should go to the source of the original article and see what has been fabricated or taken out of context. Some stories, intentionally or not, read like satire. If it sounds like it could be a headline on the satirical site, The Onion, it’s best to double-check the story.
Another thing you can do is to check the URL of the article in question. If the URL has an ending that you haven’t seen or if it just looks wrong, the story may be fake news. Often times, the URL will end with the suffix, .com.de or something similar that doesn’t make sense.
While fake news does seem like it is here to stay, choosing to believe it or not is your choice. Perhaps if we ignore it enough, we won’t see as much of it in our news feed. What are your thoughts on fake news? Leave a comment below and let us know.