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Culture - Delhi-NCR - September 29, 2017

How to spot fake news?

Fake news, which is one type of yellow journalism has its own vast history. The propaganda of spreading misinformation has been throughout mention in a documented portion of human history.

However, in modern era hoaxes are spread through the medium of social media, broadcast, print and online media portals. We have many examples where fake news has deliberately propagated for the political gains. Sensations, finance and grabbing attention are other reasons behind hoax news. But the fake news is excessively used for political reasons in contemporary times. In fact in India BJP has IT cells which function to propagate misinformation for the political gains.

Recently Facebook has released 10 quick tips to spot fake news. Facebook’s VP of News Feed Adam Mosseri said, “False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust. It’s not a new phenomenon, and all of us — tech companies, media companies, newsrooms, teachers — have a responsibility to do our part in addressing it.” Facebook during and after America election was widely criticized to let Republican in spreading false news and wrong information.

Here are 10 quick tips released by Facebook to spot fake news which is linked under ‘Facebook Help Centre’.

1. Be skeptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.

2. Look closely at the URL. A phony or look-alike URL may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site and compare the URL to established sources.

3. Investigate the source. Ensure that the story is written by a source that you trust with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from an unfamiliar organization, check their “About” section to learn more.

4. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Read carefully if you see these signs.

5. Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify where it came from.

6. Inspect the dates. False news stories may contain timelines that make no sense or event dates that have been altered.

7. Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm that they are accurate. Lack of evidence or reliance on unnamed experts may indicate a false news story.

8. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it may indicate that the story is false. If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.

9. Is the story a joke? Sometimes false news stories can be hard to distinguish from humor or satire. Check whether the source is known for parody and whether the story’s details and tone suggest it may be just for fun.

10. Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories you read, and only share the news that you know to be credible.

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