Friday, June 21, 2024

7 tips for spotting fake news

With some 89 million Filipinos active on social media as of 2021 alone, the Philippines has long been a vital battleground against fake news. Digital advertising agency SARTiNE is just the latest among many media industry players who have joined the call to fight disinformation.

Photo: Pexels.com

“We have to stay vigilant,” said SARTiNE CEO Renesar Deunida. “We have to be wary of fake news, and always make sure that the articles, videos, and posts that you read and share are backed by legitimate references from reputable news sources, or lifted from verified social media accounts. Fake news, obviously, is biased, fabricated, and published to favor someone or something while intentionally maligning another.”

Fact-checking is a basic skill that everyone should learn, Deunida is quick to point out, adding that there are some quick and easy ways to help spot fake news:

  1. Check the domain name and make sure that they have a professional domain name that matches their organization. Check the URL which usually contains the country of source or the purpose of the site.

2. Check the About Us or Contact Us page which contains crucial information on the company that owns the site.

3. Check the links if it works well. While broken links are common, legitimate news sites would have them fixed easily.

4. The Web design reveals its legitimacy too. Poorly designed websites with too much color, fonts used, and poor use of white space with animated gifs are most likely created for free. Legitimate news sources will have a proper website and would hire a good web designer to make their site.

5. Learn more about the publication and the many stories that they have published. Read about the author or the editor who wrote the piece.

6. Triangulate information by counterchecking other sources to verify facts.

7. Remember that the article isn’t valid just because a good friend or a family member shared it with you.

“If you are doubtful of an article, video, post, or any content, never engage and never share that information. Have it fact-checked or reported to authorized fact-checkers. This way, we’ll be helping the online community from spreading fake news and malicious information,” Deunida said.

All that said, he is also quick to remind everyone that social media can also be used for good.

“We can choose to acknowledge the government and our leaders if they are doing a good job in providing for the needs of the people. We can also use our platforms to express our disappointments and concerns. Either way, social media is the voice of the people and all elected officials must listen, and that is why all of us would have to work hand in hand to ensure its legitimacy,” Deunida concluded.

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