So by this time we all know that not every news is a legit one. The news channel spread like wildfire. However not every news is fake either. In this mess of news, we sometimes get confused about which one is what. That has led to a lot of legit news being termed as fake and a lot of fake news being termed as legit news. What is going on at this time is that a lot of news carries some form of agenda.
That may be either good or bad. So how do we spot them? Well, we are here just to tell you how. Before we go into spotting this news, we have to let you know the types. Yes, there are types of fake news. The world really has become a mess, hasn’t it? Anyways, let’s know the types for now.
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Types of fake news
As mentioned above Fake News has its types. While some are harmless, others can be really deadly to the world as a whole. Some are just meant to troll someone without much effect on that person nor anything else. But there are some that make an already biased audience even more biased and then that leads to disruption. There is also fake news that is just incomplete sets of information. This type is more common in the present times.
Type A: Fully faked News
This is the type that does not have any basis or even a shred of truth in them. You can very easily identify this as a story. Usually, these types of fake news have some form of strong agenda and are used to get attention. This type of news can be used to either cover up other true news or to convince the masses that an event that is not proven is true. These type of news lures you into visiting websites that are either harmful or has fake facts to persuade you into believing that particular agenda
Type B: Partially Fake news
Now, these types of news are the ones that are hard to find or debunk if you don’t do deep. The news usually has some basis on truth. They just hide the entire truth and present you with the partial truth that fits their agenda. Along with this, there is another form of partial fake news. That form is the news where outdated or disproved theories and facts are used as a base to support their agenda.
One example can be news about “how video games make children more violent” or the news about “vaccines cause autism”. Anyone with common sense can tell that this is not the case. If you look deeper into the facts that back this news up, one quick google search will show that the facts that these news use as a base have been disproven ages ago.
Type C: Trolling fake news
Now, this is the most harmless type of fake news. This news is usually found in troll sites and is meant as just a form of dark humor. Anyone who has a sense of dark humor can spot these and will laugh at them. That is just what these types of news are for.
The titles are usually ridiculous as well. One such example can be “A kid ate Parle-G biscuit, punched a hole in the wall. Says he felt a surge of energy from the biscuit” or “a man drinks beer, says it cured his hangover”. We all know that this cannot happen but these still are fake.
Although this does not harm directly, other fake news can use this as fuel to their agenda. The best we can do is to know these types of headlines and just laugh them off.
Now that we know the types, let’s go into the main topic. Now to spot fake news.
Know the type of article
This is really is a matter of common sense. You should always know what type of article you are reading before making a judgment. As all of you might know, there are different types of articles. There are the news articles and then there are blogs/viewpoints and factual articles. More often than not, people mistake the blog articles for news articles and then they are shared. What this does is support the viewpoint of an individual and not the fact. Thereby creating news that didn’t really exist.
Another mistake people make is to take disproved or outdated facts as news. It is not news but rather just a bunch of facts. Although they are facts, they have either been ruled not correct or have been updated to add new facts which either rule out the previous fact or create a specific condition for that old fact to come into play. One example of this is the one related to video games.
“While it is true that video games cause violence, this is only applicable in some cases. There has to be a multitude of other psychological reasons behind the person who plays video games to commit a criminal act and under no reason does a person with a sense of morale will choose to commit any crime regardless of the video games or not” This is the usual statement on the papers about the video games. So be sure to check out the full sentence before taking these as news.
Not everything is meant on purpose
While reading or watching the news you have to understand that they are also human. Not everything is perfect and there will be mistakes. Some typos can have a drastic impact on the news. The words such as did/didn’t, agreed/disagreed, and can/can’t have a huge impact on the news. These types are easy to make as well, especially if the one who is doing the proofreading is using autocorrect.
If you get confused, check the history of the controversial news published by the said news source, and then if they have been presenting news that has been verified so far then the current one is likely a typo. Along with this, the news may also be outdated as well. If the news is about a developing case, then the news channel can get the updates a bit late as well so be sure to stick on to the news for updates if you find any news doubtful
Cross-check to see if the news is fake or not
One thing you can do is to check other sources of news for reference. If other news sources are running the same narrative as the news source you are currently on, the chances are, it is not fake news. Just be sure to check for sources that are not owned by the same company. Along with that, if there is any news that does not feel right or triggers you, check for the original source of the news. More often than not, the news source does not run its original news. They collect the news from different places and they can modify it as they please. There are no laws regarding that.
There have been cases where the original source provided are either troll news sites or a disproven theory or an unsolved case with a lot of facts presented partially.
Check the side news as they can be ad’s
This goes only if you get your news from the net. One of the ways fake news spread is through ads and popups that look like genuine news. If you visit the news site you should have noticed a popup on the corner. Sometimes the ones who want to spread fake news disguise their ads in the form of news. You don’t even have to do much. Just hover your mouse over the side news. If the color doesn’t change or there is no cross button like the ones you see on the ads then it is a genuine piece of article that you can later on. If not, then it is likely a fake news ad made to confuse you.
Don’t share any news if in doubt
So by now, you have determined that the news you are seeing is a fake one. What would you do next? Well, you should either ignore it or report it if you can. If you are not sure if the news is fake or real, then you can just ignore it. But what if you know the news is fake and someone is sharing them? Well, then all you can do is report it and leave it. If the one who is sharing the news is someone you can talk to logically, then you should do that. But if you can’t, then just ignore it.
People have their opinion and very few people are willing to change them. If a person is someone who is deeply involved with the agenda of the fake news or let’s say emotionally involved, then that person will not change his/her view. Examples of this can be news related to a community or a sector of job or anything that touches the personnel space in a human heart.
If you are interested in news and journalism, why don’t you check out our article about “Why Youtube Journalism is Popular but Criticized in Nepal“?