Fake News – How You Can Spot It and Stop It
Fake news has rapidly risen from insignificance to a global menace in just a few years. This issue magnified with the important international scoop-political events like the Brexit in the UK and the Presidential elections in the US. The latest incident was the supposed UK exit by Microsoft following Brexit.
Undoubtedly, this disturbing trend has impacted the ratings of many legitimate websites, so much so that tech giants like Facebook and Google have committed to fighting directly.
What is the Concept of Fake News?
Fake news is nothing but deceptive content, which has been published with an aim to get higher hits on a particular website or webpage. The stories are generated specifically with the intention of promoting false stories or publishing individual or publisher’s own agenda. It is imperative to consider that it could easily target the local or international scene and is often released during highly significant events, affairs, and activities.
Should Google do all the work in eradicating this menace?
Google – the world’s biggest digital library, predicts that the fake news will impact the modern communication in the most drastic manner. Hence it has already started applying measures like adding citations within articles, removing the incentives to create fake news (visibility or revenue), and updating their algorithms to detect fake news.
It is imperative to consider that the future of SEO will apply strong policies, resulting in allowing only a few producers to publish their content. But considering the millions of pieces of content on the Internet, the onus will be on each one of us as content publishers and distributors, to work together in eradicating this menace. Besides, even Google can be (inadvertently) prone to promote fake news.
Here’s how you can do this on your own at a layman level.
How to Spot Fake News as a DIY?
- Always Check the Information Source
One of the best solutions to spot fake news is by having a look at the URL. For instance, www.abcnews.com.co is not the official ‘ABC News’ website’s URL.
- Don’t Just Focus on the Headline
Before you like or share a news story, read it a bit as the headline alone cannot predict the entire content of the news feed. Check the story on various parameters and judge whether it matches the criteria of a real news item, before sending it across.
- Confirm That the Supporting Sources are Quoted
Sometimes, fake stories quote other supporting sources, so you can judge a story by checking the relevancy of its mentioned sources. Visit the hyperlinks and scan the information to confirm that the dates, details, and data are correct, before tilting any news item as a genuine one.
Wrapping it up
Technology experts believe that the entire fake news cycle will have repercussions in search engine optimization tasks and may impact the same in a greater front. The only way to overcome this will be if we collectively work towards being objective in the representation of truth as reported online.
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