Fake news are rampant, and sadly, many fall prey to this vicious circulation of false information today. This act of mis- and disinformation can get unsuspicious readers sharing and spreading them unknowingly. So how do you prevent yourself from contributing to the proliferation of fake news?
While being a wide reader is still the best way to share only legit Manila news, knowing these signs should help you spot fake news.
Missing ‘About Us’ page
If you suspect a website, one way to know its legitimacy is through its About Us page. If it lacks the said page, then most likely that you are dealing with an untrustworthy site, and the stories it carries could be a hoax. A legitimate website has a well-written About Us page that tells what the website is about with contact information available for its readers. Meanwhile, some sites marked as fake news sources would even say outright that they can’t vouch for the accuracy of the stories they publish, making it easier to differentiate them from legit sources.
It’s easy to get fooled by look-alike links of trusted sources of Manila news today. Deceivers do this by altering the URLs of websites to mimic those of authentic media outlets. Don’t let copycat websites fool you. A quick Google search allows you to verify the legitimacy of the URL.
You wouldn’t trust an anonymous author the same way you wouldn’t trust a stranger, would you? If the news came from an anonymous author, chances are, it is fake. Legit news articles often have bylines from credible news researchers so checking who wrote it would give away the nature of the story you are reading. Beware of pseudonyms and missing bylines before clicking the “Share” button.
Clickbait headlines use exaggerated language to entice readers to click on a link. Rather than being factual, fake news tend to take the form of sensationalized content that is emotionally manipulative, often eliciting a certain kind of emotion or response from the readers. If you’re browsing and found a news article written in all caps with exclamation point, it could be a red flag that you are about to dive into a hoax. Reading beyond the headline gives you more context of the story that helps determine the legitimacy of the news.
Timeliness is a factor that makes a news, but what happens when an old yet factual story gets shared on social media? It creates confusion. You can see a lot of these with people who share legitimate “Walang Pasok” announcements but have been published a couple of years ago. Although it contains facts, old news can be twisted to create distortion of real events. Some even alter the date to intentionally fool the readers. Always inspect the dates of a news story to avoid confusion.
Aside from exaggerated language, a story riddled with typographical errors can be a sign of fake news. Legit media organizations from Manila proofread before publishing news while people behind the spreading of mis- and disinformation usually don’t. Look out for misspelling errors, unusual formatting and awkward layouts. If the story you are reading today contains problematic language, it could be fake news.
Lack of supporting sources
Don’t just rely on a single source. Even a trusted news organization can make mistakes. It is important to cross-check facts so look for the same news from other credible sources. If it’s not carried by other outlets, then most likely, it is a hoax.
Fake news come in many forms. Some are well-concealed while others basically shout F-A-K-E to unsuspecting readers. But with the signs above, you’re now better able to tell fake and legit Manila news apart. Keep these in mind before sharing an article you read today.