WITH the advent of social media and the wider access to the internet in Nigeria and other countries of the world, the news is no longer what it is. Unlike in the past when we all depended on the traditional for informative, educative and entertaining content, it is not so now. This is because the World Wide Web is free and anyone can post or share anything, including fake news, all in the name of driving traffic to their website.
Consequently, whatever content you read on blogs or social media should not be taken as the truth. A very recent example is the fake news that President Muhammadu Buhari is dead. The Presidency had to debunk the news.
So, how do you identify fake news? Here are five ways to identify fake news.
Check the URL
There are some news websites you can never doubt their credibility. However, to spread fake news, the fake news peddlers usually clone these reliable websites.
Use other sources to verify
When you are unsure of the trustworthiness of any news on a particular website, you should use other sources to confirm. Oftentimes, a breaking news will be reported by leading news platforms. If these is not the case, you should tarry a while before reporting or you should just ignore it.
Verify with fact-checking websites
As fake news becomes a reality we cannot overlook, there are now websites where you can verify any news. You can use factcheck.org.
Some individuals just want to be mischievous. They share backdated news that may not be presently relevant. So, you may think the news is true. Hence, you may want to check the date before believing such a story.
The story is too flamboyant
The news story may be too terrifying, humorous, flamboyant, sympathetic and frustrating. If it features these metrics, you should verify the news from other sources and if you don’t find it from others, it may be a fake news.