There is so much news going around during the COVID-19 pandemic right now that it can be hard to distinguish real news from fake news. The Department of Health has therefore released tips on how to spot fake news online so that everyone can avoid spreading it. Here they are.
How to Spot Fake News Online
Examine the post thoroughly.
A lot of the time, fake news has sensationalized headlines with exaggeration and drama added to the mix.
Check the URL.
Copying the URL and overall look and feel of legitimate websites is one way people try to spread fake news. To verify if the news is real, search for the actual news website in a new window to verify if the website you were on is the real one or is using an altered or slightly different URL.
You can also verify the news by checking the author of the article. Check if the author is actually a credible news source. You can also visit the website’s About section to distinguish its legitimacy.
Check for any inconsistencies.
Check if the format or layout used is different, if there are inconsistencies in the date or timelines of the article, or if there are any misspelled words in it. Be wary of fake or altered pictures and videos, as well.
Know which websites are trustworthy.
Don’t believe everything that you read, especially if the author is undisclosed. Countercheck what you’ve read with more reliable sources of information, such as the Department of Health and the World Health Organization.
In this time of crisis, let’s not incite panic or fear in the hearts of others. Make sure you double-check all of your sources and information before sharing it with anyone or posting it on your social media accounts.
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