With the need for credible real-time updates, the call for social media responsibility has
also risen exponentially, with fake news keeping pace with the spread of the virus.
With that, here are easy steps on how to be a responsible mobile phone user while keeping the “fake news virus” at bay:
Don’t share posts and news stories immediately. Most headlines are crafted to give an enticing summary or lead-in to a story, but they aren’t always what they are, so it’s better to go through the entire story first. Make sure to check the date, as well, because some people tend to share news updates even from a few years back.
Read through for inconsistencies. Are you fond of reading stories actively or passively? By actively reading through articles, one could already deduce the credibility of the story. Fake news tends to include outrageous claims, biases, questionable facts and figures, and grammatical errors — one that a credible writer would seldom commit.
Be on the lookout for the source. We sometimes share articles or read news posts without checking who shared or posted such. To be sure, check the source of the story or post — it is usually located at the top or bottom of posts and images. For external links, scan through the website address located on top of the headline and verify it first before clicking — shady web addresses could lead to virus-infested websites.
Visit the supposed source. Does a source seem credible because of its name? Not entirely.
News update templates could easily be retouched using readily available photo editing apps. To be sure, visit the official news sites or social media pages of the supposed sources to verify if they did release the story. It would also be wise to check if other credible news sites released a similar story.
Reflect on actually posting or sharing. By the time you’ve finished verifying and given that it is indeed a credible story from a bona fide source, you’ve probably had enough time to reflect on whether it is actually worth sharing in the first place. It would also be good to review your intentions in sharing the material.
Download credible news apps. To get authentic news updates and stories on-the-dot, you could always download apps developed by top news sites in the country.
And there you go! There is power in staying in and keeping abreast with updates, and a seemingly little thing, such as preventing the spread of fake news, could go a long way.