Each person has their own biases that they maintain, prior to preferences for which news sources and media they prefer. Recognizing one own biases can help to effectively spot fake news.
For this reason, it is important to be vigilant about information on the Internet, especially during times of crisis. Common sense must remain at the forefront. The guiding principle is to double-check information as soon as it is published. Sometimes we repost a story based on 280 characters without even reading it!
If an article is posted to Facebook or Twitter, you can see the post it originated from. Go to the publishing website to view past articles on the same or similar topics. It is alarming if articles share a certain political point of view, if they are full of typos or grammatical errors, or if they are all written by the same author.
Warning: unknown links may also hide attempts to obtain your data for fraudulent purposes. If you are asked to enter passwords or personal details in the wrong place, it may be a phishing website, a fake website.
Only companies that request this badge and can provide documentary proof that the official channel belongs to them can receive it. In fact, Twitter and other websites ban emoji handles that look like a verified account icon so as not to confuse users. If you are unsure, you'll often find links to the official company profile on their corporate website.
Criteria for determining the reliability and official source
While the number of subscribers can vary greatly depending on the popularity of a brand, product, or business, this can help you determine if a channel is official or not.
On Facebook and other social networks, you can see how long the profile has been active. Be careful when interacting with profiles that have not been active for a long time, as you may not know their purpose. If the profile has been open for a long time, but it has few posts or messages, it may no longer be used. If you are not sure, you can always contact companies and organizations through a trusted channel to check if their accounts or messages are legitimate. Keep this in mind before clicking or replying.
Spelling and grammar
Professional companies or organizations have an editorial that ensures that customers receive high-quality, professional content. If there are obvious spelling or grammatical errors in an email message, it could be a scam. These errors are sometimes the result of clumsy translation from a foreign language, and sometimes they are deliberate in an attempt to bypass the filters that try to block these attacks.
Phishing emails and messages may look like they are from a company you know or trust. They may look like they come from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking website, an online payment website or app, or an online store.
One study published in 2022 in a scientific journal is known to have shown that fake news itself is not as common as we might think. The study concluded that genuine fake news makes up only 0.15% of the average reader's news diet.
Specifically, such fake news can affect the credibility of the institution, harm society and individuals due to negative consequences. A time of crisis offers fertile ground for fake news because tensions are high and leave little room for rational thinking in the world of the internet and social media.
Tip: Whenever you see a message calling for immediate action, pause and take a close look at the message. Are you sure this is real? Slow down and be safe!
Using fake websites under the guise of official ones
It is becoming increasingly difficult for many segments of the population to learn to recognize fake news. A typical example of a fake news source is a fake website that looks like a real news portal but was set up by an individual or organization, often operating outside the country to promote a certain opinion or political philosophy. The organization publishes articles on the website containing false information in an attempt to attack opponents and promote their views under the guise of news reports. Articles are circulated to targeted users on social media as a way to spread disinformation.
Email domain mismatch
If the email appears to be from a reputable company like Apple or PrivatBank, but it is from a different email domain like Yahoo.com or microsoftsupport.ru, it might be a scam. Also watch out for very subtle spelling errors in a legitimate domain name. For example, micros0ft.com, where the second letter is replaced by 0, or rnicrosoft.com, where the letter m is replaced by r and n. These are scammers' tricks. Disinformation and fake news can also hurt your business. For example, made-up reviews of your products or inaccurate financial statements can seriously damage your reputation.
Fake mailings in messengers
The problem of forwarded fake messages in instant messengers is becoming more and more acute. As a result, some changes have been made to WhatsApp. A small arrow above a message indicates that the message has been forwarded to you. Two arrows above each other indicate that this message has already passed through a chain of at least five chats before reaching you. If messages have already been sent that many times, they can only be forwarded with restrictions. In some countries, such messages are marked with a small magnifying glass. You can use this to call the Google search function with the message text.
Fictional stories, distorted facts: Fake news spreads like wildfire on the Internet and is often shared without hesitation, especially on social media and messaging apps. In response, researchers have developed a system that automatically analyzes social media posts, deliberately filtering out fake news and misinformation. To do this, the tool analyzes both content and metadata, classifying them using machine learning methods and relying on user interaction to optimize results as they come.
How does the fake detection system work?
The system acts as a classification tool that is trained using two corpora: a corpus of news rated as fake news and a corpus of equally weighted valid news on the same topics. Users create these enclosures themselves. Through comparison, the system learns what characteristics distinguish fake news from authentic news.
Possible features included in the analysis are linguistic data such as word choice or sentence structure, as well as metadata. For example, news shared by social bots often exhibits certain patterns in their metadata. As bots are increasingly being used to spread fake news, such patterns may indicate that the news is fake. However, in general, to be classified as such, a number of different characteristics indicating fake news must be present. Overall, this system is a useful tool for detecting a wide range of fake news.
When the system is supplied with a set of markers, the tool will teach you to select markers that work. Another decisive factor is choosing a machine learning approach that will provide the best results. This is a time-consuming process, because you have to run different algorithms with different combinations of markers.
If you have landed on a scam website, then do not provide sensitive information such as financial details, login and password, verification codes, Facebook login, or even your name and contact information. If in doubt, do not complete it. Also, do not click on links from unfamiliar emails, online messages, or private messages. Knowing if a website is fake will help you decide whether to buy from a website or trust it. In the digital age, when attention shifts from one screen to another, it is imperative that they strive to connect with people in real life. A face-to-face meeting remains the most effective way to exchange ideas and political views. Learning to search for the full range of facts and opinions on a subject makes people better equipped to spot and stop fake news.
If you are in doubt about where the information comes from and how reliable it is, do not pass it on. Instead, talk to the person who sent it about your concerns. You can also report suspected false news to the platform operators or to a fact-checking website.