7 Ways to Verify News on the Internet, we have access to an unlimited amount of information, which is often difficult to sort and figure out which is true and which is not.
We’ve all seen headlines like “Dutch Scientists Prove Corona Virus Doesn’t Exist,” “Unvaccinated Person Detained in Concentration Camps in Australia,” and “HIV Infected Needle Placed in Cinema Chair.”
This is an example of a myth that is spreading on the worldwide web that we now call “fake news”.
Unfortunately, not a few people believe in fake news, regardless of age or social status. But the important lesson is information that requires attention because false information can be found in unexpected places.
7 Ways to Verify News on the Internet so that you can examine the authenticity and accuracy of information on the Internet, and prevent the spread of false information.
1. Find the source of the information first.
The first thing to do is to check where the information is coming from. There may be several options here. Media outlets, bloggers, messenger channels, and communities on social networks usually have some sort of reputation.
It is important to understand that even the most reputable sources can publish debatable information. This verification stage is especially necessary to screen out absolutely “unreliable” sources.
2. Find links to primary sources
Any information that is claimed to be reliable must contain a link to the original source. Articles or posts without links should not be verified. The next step is to check the link itself. It all depends on the specifications of the material.
For example, if a text describes several events in a country, it must contain links to local publications in the original language. References to official publications or scientific studies are also a good sign of the validity of the information.
3. Doing fact checking
Every text, video, or audio material has certain facts that can be verified by other sources. Often these are names, dates, geographic locations, some scientific facts, and so on. This data can be verified with a quick Internet search.
Search engine companies will even tell you more about all the more complex search features. For example, this material will help you understand how to properly search for information on Google. If you find more than two or three inaccuracies, the text may not be trustworthy.
4. Find out the sourcing agenda
The first three tips involve fact-checking, but beyond that, the pattern/style of the information presented is important. Even if the author doesn’t spread outright lies, proper emphasis and carefully selected facts in an article can distort the picture and influence the opinion of its readers.
It is therefore important to consider source bias or agenda as it will help you to weigh the information received more objectively.
5. Attention to detail
Images can be changed using Photoshop and other editing tools. To see if the image has been altered, try searching for the original image with Google image search or TinEye.
Quotes are also often taken out of context, a recent example being the quote from the World Economic Forum, “You will have nothing. And you will be happy.”
Even a quick search on the Internet for the first words usually helps to see the full picture and understand what someone really wants to say.
6. Look for case diversity
When it comes to texts that refer to some alleged mass phenomena, such as the news that “after vaccination, people lose the ability to get pregnant,” you can start looking at all available sources for this question.
It’s a good idea to focus on things like name, age or eyewitness accounts, as well as the venue and date of the event. If such key details in the story are matched repeatedly, it’s likely a single case, and not the mass phenomenon they’re trying to convince.
7. Use reliable sources of information verification
Of course, it is impossible to check every text that we see on the Internet. Plus, it’s often not necessary because the professionals have already done it for you.
A trusted English-language news fact checker like Snopes can separate out what’s fake news and what isn’t, a resource using a complex rating system that helps you understand whether an piece of information is true, a lie, or simply a mistake. Snopes investigates stories from a variety of topics: cultural and historical, scientific, and political.
Keep in mind that like any online resource, fact checkers make mistakes too, which is why it’s so important to be able to independently check information. With a trained eye, you will quickly see where the error lies in the reasoning of a message.
Not all lies are intentional lies. They often appear due to common mistakes. Anyone can trust false information, no matter what one’s background is. So be sure to keep a close watch on information, at least the things that affect your life the most.
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