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Recognizing and unmasking fake news
Fake news are news that contain intentionally false information. They are usually distributed via the Internet. They are intended to influence and manipulate the readers. The topics that appear in Fake News are very different. Mostly, however, political or economic motives are behind them. Especially now in the Corona time, people are scared and do not always know what to believe and what not to believe. In the following article you will learn very easily how to recognize (most) Fake News.
First I will explain what Fake News are:
Fake news are news of all kinds, they can be
- but also occur in videos and in pictures
- or in posts in social media
- even in so-called chain letters, where the reader is supposed to pass on his message to his friends, lies are often the content.
Fake news can be found in all social media and many Internet sites
- Internet sites of all kinds: blogs, forums, dubious news sites and many more
- Youtube Channels
- Instagram pages
Their content is mostly political or economic. The content should make people insecure and mainly the content should make the reader feel like: anger, fear or injustice. These feelings are triggered in the reader by lies.
An example: in Brexit 2016, the voters were specifically informed with lies. Advantages were invented for a brexite and disadvantages for staying in the EU. These arguments were invented. And thus the election was manipulated.
In America there were even investigations for interference in the presidential election. So there is a lot of danger in fake news.
That's why it's important to distinguish between truth and lies. And to know how to test it if you're not sure.
A source is the side from which you get information.
Information from public authorities, the police and state institutions can usually be believed. The public radio, i.e.: the Tagesschau and the SWR, ARD, etc., also researches very well. Most daily newspapers are also serious.
But if you are on a website, it should have a serious profile. A serious profile includes the first name and surname of the author, and there should be an imprint.
If you are in the social media and stumble upon a possible false report, then you should check the profile.
You should check if there is a sign which confirms the authenticity of a profile (like the "blue mark).
And what other posts the profile posts. If it always posts things about one topic, this is a hint for a profile that is spreading fake news.
You should also check how old the profile is, if profiles are very young but have already posted a lot on a topic, this is also a hint for fake news. Often these are social bots (social bots: these are programs that post posts without human help, mostly fake news).
Expose Fake News
-Sensational reports are also an indication of dubiousness. Sensational reports are news that manipulate the reader with an extreme headline and a lot of emotion in the article.
-Spectacular pictures and many exclamation marks in the headline are also indications of fake news and sensational reports. Such fake news have a 70 percent higher chance of being shared, says a study by MIT "The spread of true and false news online".
Checks if the image, video file has a creation date.
-If the text indicates studies, you should check if they actually exist.
-Insert the message at the following websites:
on these pages fake news are collected and you can get the opinion of professional fact-checkers about the news.
-You can also search the statement of the news in google and then you check if there are other news about it and how serious the other sources (source check) are.
-If you only have one image file, you can add the image to google and search. Then you can see where the picture was first uploaded. If it came first on another topic, your message is probably fake news.
If you have exposed a fake news, you can behave as follows:
Discuss: you can write in the comments that this is a fake news and best of all directly prove with facts why it is a fake news.
Ignore it: You should never forward chain messages. But you should also not share Facebook posts etc. unless you write in capital letters !!!FAKE NEWS!!!
Submit: You should also report hateposts to www.hass-im-net.info/melden
Even politicians in the USA, Great Britain but also in Germany sometimes argue with fake news. Whether you want to elect these politicians is up to you.
Here you can find much more information on the topic