How many times have you read a news article online, only to find out it wasn’t true? On social media, anyone can say what they want with little to no repercussion! This can be a good thing because people are free to voice his or her opinion, but it can also lead to false information hitting news feeds. With a whirlwind of content circulating by the second, news is becoming more difficult to verify, and the controversy of ‘fake news’ arises.
As a business, it’s important to know how to spot the fake news, so you don’t repost anything on your own social channels that is false or incorrect. It’s so easy to read an article and assume everything you’re reading is true, only to find that it’s from a ‘satirical’ standpoint or false source. Well, we may not be able to stop the articles from publishing (yet), but we can help stop the circulation. Here are the steps you can take to tell if the news article you’re reading is fake.
Check the Source!
The first step you should take before reposting an article is to check the source. First, look at the URL and see if it’s mimicking a major website’s link. Most false news sources make small changes to their URLs to trick users into clicking. Next, check out the about section or the page’s website, if the information came from a site that you’ve never heard of, dig deep. Trust your gut, if anything looks off – it most likely is!
Consider the Headlines
Fake news articles tend to have over the top headlines with tons of punctuation and catchy lines to attract users. Users are browsing through their social channels at a fast rate, which makes it easy to read a catchy headline and share immediately! Consider these headlines and follow the steps above to learn more about the site that originally posted the article.
Scope Out For Other Articles
If you’re still unsure if the article is true or not, do a quick Google search to see if there are any other relevant articles out there. You can imagine how rare it is to find the very first article about a news topic! Especially from a site you’re unsure is real. This is a quick way to make sure the news is true.
Watch for Photos and Formatting
The photos and formatting of the news article can give you a big hint if it’s true or false. Most fake news articles have bizarre formatting that doesn’t make sense and weird fonts. The photos in the article might be a little off, as well. They can be manipulated or taken out of context. By conducting a quick search of the image; you’ll be able to see where the picture originated.
Being able to spot fake news will reinforce your authenticity on social media. As a business, it’s important always to post content that is true. Make sure you follow these steps to ensure validity across your channels!