How to Spot Fake News

by montminy.emeric on Mars 24, 2017 - 2:48pm

During the last presidential campaign in the United States, an article written by an individual with Republican ideologies illustrates Hillary Clinton’s relationnist being arrested because of the famous email scandal. Thousands of internet users shared on their social media walls an information that was sadly fake. Seeing this phenomena proves that it is primordial to learn the characteristics and the clear definition of fake news. So, the reader would be able to spot fake news, develop his curiosity and establish research concerning specific facts.

First of all, false information denunciation should begin during childhood in elementary and high school. With this education, students would receive an essential aptitude to escape fake news, which is critical thinking.

Furthermore, with this learning, fake news could be easily identified by young adults with the desire of being educated. It is not necessary to read immediately the whole editorial and the lead to spot a fake article. Indeed, just by looking at the main title, the picture on top of the text and the author’s credibility. The article credibility is focused on those points. Most of the time, the journalist’s name is not even published by the websites spreading wrong statistics. On the other hand, a bright reader is warned about dates of publication. It may happen that some individuals write about current news and international events that never happened or have not happened yet. In fact, the reader should remember the two W trick. He must know WHEN the information has been posted on the website and WHO wrote it.

Moreover, when the characteristics have been analysed, the reader must read the content of the news. Even when the statistics and the evidence seems realistic, it does not confirm the veracity of the website. It is also important to check on another source, if the facts are the same. It might happen sometimes that websites creating their own statistics and journalistic structure use exaggerated titles to push uninformed Facebook users to click on their article. By clicking on the link, they notice that the information is nowhere. This clickbait title without content has been created to generate a ridiculous amount of views. Those views generate money to the website. So many young people are “cutting the cord” from traditional TV and therefore, they will obtain their news online, primarily in social media.

Finally, knowledge is acquired by being informed about current news and spotting fake news. When the journalist’s name, the website’s history, the moment of publication are not spotted, it probably means that the source is not credible enough to be read. It is also possible to forget Facebook and to obtain a real newspaper subscription.

About the author

Émeric Montminy is a Cub Journalist currently studying at Jonquiere college, a writer or editor for a news medium. Even if he is a student, Émeric had the privilege to work as a Sports Reporter for TC Media in Saguenay.