I hate fake news. And as a blogger/educator, I have the power to stop Fake News by spreading. One of them is to make sure that every post I make and share in social media is accurate and true from its source. However, this season of COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s harder to see whether what news is real or fake.
Right now, people around the globe, are stuck at home in a bid to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic—glued to their mobile phones, consuming the rapid spread of news and information that has multiplied even more in the already fast-paced online platform.
With the need for credible real-time updates, the call for social media responsibility has also risen exponentially with fake news keeping pace with the spread of the virus.
With that, here are 5 easy steps to be a responsible mobile phone user by keeping the “fake news virus” at bay:
1. Don’t share posts and news stories immediately
Most headlines are crafted to give an enticing summary or lead-in to a story, but they aren’t always what they are, so it’s better to go through the entire story first. Oh, and make sure to check the date as well because some people tend to share news updates from even a few years back.
2. Read through for inconsistencies
Are you fond of reading stories actively or passively? By actively reading through articles, one could already deduce the credibility of the story. Fake news tends to include outrageous claims, biases, questionable facts and figures, and grammatical errors—one that a credible writer would seldom commit.
3. Be on the lookout for the source
We sometimes open shared articles or read news posts without checking who shared or posted these. To be sure, check the source of the story or post—it is usually located at the top or bottom of posts and images. For external links, scan through the website address located on top of the headline and verify it first before clicking—shady web addresses can lead to virus-infected websites.
4. Visit the supposed source
Does a source seem credible because of its name? Not entirely. News update templates can easily be retouched using readily available photo editing apps. To be sure, visit the official news sites or social media pages of the supposed source and verify if they did release the story. It would also be wise to check if other credible news sites released a similar story.
5. Reflect on actually posting or sharing
By the time you’ve finished verifying, and given that it is indeed a credible story from a bona fide source, you’ve probably had enough time to reflect on whether it is actually worth sharing in the first place. It would also be good to review your intentions in sharing the material.
Additional step: Download credible news apps
To get authentic news updates and stories on-the-dot, you could always download apps developed by top news sites in the country. These are readily available through the seamless Vivo app store, available in all Vivo smartphones.
And there you go! There is power in staying in and keeping abreast with updates, and a seemingly little thing such as preventing the spread of fake news can go a long way.