Avoiding rumors in social networks: advice to verify information
Have you ever fallen into a false news on the Internet, and have given him “share” only to later find out it was not true? Here we bring you some tips to avoid it to happen again.
Many of us use the social networks to inform about events and news, even more than the traditional media. However, as we have seen repeatedly, particularly in crisis situations, the information we receive is not always reliable, and can be susceptible to fall into neglect, being deceived and help spread rumors, false news or booby traps.
Just days ago, during the attacks in Paris, fake photographs ranging from alleged Bataclan concert hall to the Empire State Building lit spread.
How to avoid falling into traps and false information flowing through social networks? A bit of critical thinking can do much. If you see something that looks like it could not be true, just invest a couple of minutes before sharing research can be more than enough.
1. Find the text on the Internet
Sometimes, to discover a hoax just highlight some text, right click and choose “Search.” If it is an old or known hoax, you quickly find websites like Snopes.com , together with an explanation of its origin and falsehood.
2. Evaluate the source
The next step is v erify the profile of the person who is sharing the information. If it’s someone you know and who you trust, obviously it adds a layer of confidence (particularly if you are a witness, rather than simply sharing a link).
If someone you do not know, you look good yourself. Is it a real person? Do you usually is serious about sharing content? Someone you know what’s next? What is the content and quality of their interactions with others?
A complete biography, a link to a blog or some extra information can help you assess the credibility of this person.
3. When and where did this happen?
When you click on a story or video, look at what date was first published. In addition, it is particularly skeptical publications claiming correspond to remote locations. Occasionally, one of the easiest ways to spend a hoax is easily mention a place like China, as a Western audience is more likely to believe that strange things happen in places that are very culturally alien to them.
4. Was created to be viral?
If a story is too good to be true, it probably is not real. There are tons of content online that are specifically generated to get clicks, and because of that we are so gullible that we are carried away by the supposed perfection. If history was evidently written for many “likes”, there is a great possibility that is not true.
5. Do Reverse Lookup images
Photographs are another mechanism by which easily fall: it is as if we saw a picture and automatically become “evidence” to us. In many cases, those who spread false information on the Internet make use of old photographs, which correspond to other events, and pose as evidence to make us believe false rumors.
How to know that a photograph has been published previously? Doing reverse lookup of the image in Google Images or on a site like TinEye.
Finally, although it often enough with a little common sense and critical instinct, sometimes you have to take out the big guns.
For these cases, particularly if part of your job is to generate content for the Internet, I recommend you take a look at the manual verification of digital content of the European Centre for Journalism.