Since Google and other platforms have started providing money to websites against advertisement, fake news has become more prevalent. Many people with zero journalistic experience have created websites to earn easy money. They regularly circulate fake news to attract visitors and make more money through advertisements.
Moreover, many big brands have also started spreading misinformation to earn money or gain personal benefits. Sometimes they have agendas or become the mouthpieces of some organizations or politicians.
Almost every internet user encounters fake news daily. Unfortunately, with time, it is becoming difficult for people to differentiate between fake and authentic news. However, some easy ways can help you identify fake news sources.
This article will discuss them so you can evaluate websites that spread misinformation and stop believing in them.
On Twitter and Facebook, you would have seen much news with spicy headlines like “Dewayne Johnson has Slapped a Well-known Celebrity, click the link to learn more.” However, when you click the link, you realize it was just clickbait. Those websites just pick a piece of news from a source, rewrite the report, and share it on their websites with spicy headlines.
Most big media houses avoid click-baiting to maintain their reputation and let people believe that they are following values.
Any website sharing this kind of news should be avoided as they don’t follow the journalistic code of ethics. Moreover, they don’t think twice before writing and disseminating false information. They usually have only one concern: earn extra money by creating a sensation. Therefore, whenever you encounter these kinds of websites, you should block the pages or links so that you won’t get their links in the news feeds.
Here is another more practical and efficient trick to identify fake news sources. Most online news articles have supporting images that are used to create a picture in readers’ minds. However, sometimes fake news spreaders use strong images to start propaganda against some organizations, politicians, parties, and other individuals. People usually don’t check the news and source’s authenticity and make them go viral within a few seconds.
If you see a piece of news somewhere that you think is deceitful, or you want to know whether the website is reliable, it is time to give “image search” technology a chance. You can use the images shared with a piece of news to find out whether the news article is fake or not. Moreover, it can also help you know the actual story behind those images.
For that purpose, save those pictures or take screenshots. Once you save those pictures on your device, upload them on an image finder. It will show you different websites using the same images. You can find image sources and check their authenticity. Furthermore, you can also acquire more information about those pictures by clicking the links of those sources. It will help you know the whole and the actual story.
The language of the news articles can also play a vital role in helping people know whether the news website is owned and operated by senior journalists or not. Usually, only a few know that there is a massive difference between journalistic/news writing and other forms of writing. For example, news articles and other stories featured on news websites are always written concisely. Moreover, the writing style and tone are always complex, and journalists don’t spice things up or show their creativity in this form of writing. Sometimes news articles, especially headlines, need to follow grammar rules. If you are an active reader of news articles, you would be aware of the language used in news articles.
Many news websites don’t follow this journalistic writing style while compiling news articles. They don’t do it to show their creativity or bring some diversity. The writers of those websites need to be made aware of the rules of news writing. Those writers know one thing, how to rewrite news articles published elsewhere.
If you want to find out whether a news website is authentic, check the sources they mention with every piece of news. Fortunately, some fake news sites need to learn that it is essential to cite news sources. However, checking the sources can help you develop an opinion about a website you visit for news.
The trick here is that all the fake news websites don’t mention the sources of information. Or even if they do, most sources are from other media houses. So they won’t see them mentioning that their staff or correspondent collects the story. The reason? They don’t have any reporter staff. They have the rewriters.