Have you been glued to your social media outlets lately and have been stuck worried by a certain piece of news, only to find out later that it was fake? How would you feel? Dejected, of course. This is the kind of news that you would term as off the chart, as fake. It is something that will certainly anger you, to say the least, especially in the present times of COVID-19 pandemic, when any misleading news can cause considerable anguish.
Such notions of news spread with an ambiguity have become quite common in present times. You would have certainly come across this on your messenger apps, like WhatsApp, many a time. The spread of such counterfeit or false information spread isn’t limited to your social media feed or your messenger groups and friends, but, TV and digital media have also come in firing range for publishing and presenting such false news.
What Is Fake News?
Any information or message that is made up to mislead, as well as present a biased side to a story through wrong perception and inference or any story that has critical omissions or out-of-context material is deemed as fake news or report.
What Factors Have Led To Rise In Fake News?
As compared to earlier, the present age influx of information and newscast is abundant with misleading messages, across the globe, and entailing every sector and field, primarily in politics, economy, incidents of importance to society, segment or set of people, gossip world, and more, allowing to the rise of the electronic and especially digital world. Varied reasons can be attributed to this rise. They are-
- Electronic Media
The rise of electronic media in place of print media, wherein the style and focus have changed, and there is a war to get high viewership has led to many media houses becoming the breeding ground of fake news.
- Digital Media
The internet has given us powers, the freedom of expression, and there is little to no supervisory of what one can publish online. While there are major media houses, blogs, and news websites that are digging deep and bringing the truth, the parallel world of fake news articles and information circulating over the web is also a menace.
- Social Media
Social networks have empowered individuals to connect, discuss, and spread info. And this is literally where some uncertified and unknowingly or with-a- bad-intent wave of news can spread like fire.
How to Spot Fake News Online?
- Look for the Website Authority/Popularity
There is a kind of trust and popularity of any news or media outlet builds. This is factual in both the real as well as the online world. Websites work hard and for years to build that conviction in front of readers, as well as web metrics. Assessing the time the website has been in running, how it is perceived in the media world, by other readers, by Google and other search engines, can help you distinguish a reliable site from a new or phony one when you are searching for top entertainment blogs in Nigeria or any specific category or news site whatsoever.
- Always Check the Source of News
Who is behind any certain news article? Is that source credible? Have they been regular in their news and posted read-worthy and truthful content in the past too? Are they following an evident bias? Checking the source of the information becomes important to ascertain the credibility of the news. Also, duly check the author and his credentials.
- Check With Other Media Sources
Any reliable, and of significance news and information will certainly be presented in other media websites as well. This also has to be fact-checked and cross-referenced to know that what you are reading through is worth putting thought into. If there is something related to a controversial story, or incident, or a political instance, or like with present pandemic Corona, you have to confirm it on other sources as well.
- Understand Between News and an Opinion-Post
A piece of information can just be an opinion of the publisher or the author; which, in all cost, must not be inferred as a real incident or story. This is the perspective of a single person or a group and must be limited to that only. An opinion is a viewpoint only, while news’ basic is about the ground facts.
- There is More Than Just the Title
Many people have a tendency to read the headline and base their view based on it. This can be half-baked knowledge which can lead to out-of-context or important-piece-missing information that is passed on afterward. In today’s cut-throat completion, move over the dramatic, sometimes exaggerating headlines and get to know the real message and facts and figures.
Having your reading comprehension capability sorted out following these basics will help you filter outright from the wrong. So, next time when you land upon and read through top entertainment blogs in Nigeria, be observant.