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Social Media: How To Deal With Fake News and Yellow Journalism

INSCMagazine: Get Social!

The term “fake news” means the dissemination of false information in media and social networks. Fake news is created for the purpose of manipulating people and spread because of the thirst for power. Often, they are based on prejudice and are specially made so that it is difficult to distinguish them from real news. The most terrible thing in the fake news is that people become enemies because of them.

What is fake news? This is news, inside of which there is unconfirmed, untested or knowingly false information. Fakes mislead people, make them doubt their own knowledge. In this state, you can believe in any facts, which is what unscrupulous authors use.


Distinguishing the fake news from the real is pretty simple. Usually they have ‘screaming’, even panicky headlines. The authors of such news are much more willing to share their views on events than describe real facts.

The surge in fake news is associated with the appearance in social networks of tools for writing, creating and publishing news and notes by any user.

In addition to social networks, fake news is distributed in blogs, newspapers, yellow online media, instant messengers (via bots or anonymous channels), video hosting and on other online and offline sites. Sources of fakes usually have high attendance, and their audience unreservedly believes the authors of notes. Web sites are teeming with banners of questionable content that transfer users to information partner pages.

The main principle of the success of fake news is the phenomenon of post-truth. What does it mean?

Firstly, people do not like to understand what is reality and what is fiction. A person, even if he feels doubt, may be too lazy to check the information read.

Secondly, fakes are aimed at the reader’s emotions, on his personal beliefs. People tend to believe in what they want to believe, in something that does not contradict their views and seems truthful.

You should agree that it is not very pleasant to be deceived. It will be doubly unpleasant when your friends will laugh at you if you share false news with them. If you want to be sure of the truthfulness of the information you get from social networks and the media, you need to learn not to believe in everything that is written there.

If you see a loud headline that screams: `Quickly click and read!`, Watch out. When reading a news article or a note, answer the question: “Do I have facts or someone’s point of view?”. Only facts are truthful. Check sources of information, follow the links to the original articles. Do not be afraid of the text in a foreign language – it’s easier to spend 10 minutes of your life translating and reconciling the facts than to stay in a fool. In no case, do not let the news affect your emotions or feelings, always stay calm and soberly assess everything that you read.

The main advice is to filter the information. Select a few news stories that you trust and read only them. It is better even to subscribe to a short newsletter or channels of reputable media, so as not to waste time opening and viewing different sites.

The founder of Wikipedia launched a project to combat fake news

The site of the creator of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, WikiTribune’s main goal is exposing the fake news on the Internet. Wales himself argues that journalism should be based on undeniable facts, and not on speculation or yellow headlines for the sake of increasing readership.

The international news portal will regularly publish articles by professional journalists, which will then be checked for veracity by numerous volunteers from different countries. This will make the work of the media as transparent as possible and identify the most reliable sources of information, as well as expose those who abuse the trust of their readers. The service is completely free and devoid of built-in advertising. Like Wikipedia, the site is planned to be supported by voluntary donations from its users.

For example, the German government will fine Facebook, YouTube and other social media for up to 50 million euros unless they remove “obviously illegal” materials within 24 hours after complaints. False news, publications on the basis of hate, etc. are understood under such materials.

In addition, companies will have to remove materials whose illegal nature is not so obvious, but in this case, the proceedings are given 7 days. The rule applies to websites with an audience of more than 2 million users. This is one of the most stringent laws of this kind in the world. Fines start from 5 million euros, but, depending on the seriousness of the situation, can increase by 10 times.

The new rule has already been criticized by human rights groups and industry representatives who find it difficult to implement. Opponents of the law are confident that, because of the tight deadlines for the evaluation of materials, companies will begin to remove any doubtful publications at all, just not to pay a fine.

The Facebook company posted an advertisement on the rights of advertising in several major British newspapers on revealing unreliable news. The instructions that appeared on the pages of The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Times, say that you need to carefully check the source of publications, be skeptical of the calling headlines and check the dates in the materials.

The full list of tips for identifying fake news looks like this:

  • Treat headlines with skepticism.
  • Look closely at the URL.
  • Look for the original source.
  • Pay attention to unusual formatting.
  • Pay attention to the photos.
  • Check the dates.
  • Check the evidence.
  • Search for other posts by topic.
  • Some fake notes are a conscious satire.

Facebook is not mentioned on the boards, but the social network logo is placed on the material. Similar advice Facebook previously repeatedly placed in the online media.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is a profound and thoughtful writer, who can discuss any topic in the written form. You can make sure by reading her posts written for ResumePerk.com.

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