fbpx

Campaigning for facts

Guide

How to Avoid Fake News Short Manual

Introduction

ReclaimTheFacts is an initiative launched by Mr. Campaigning to promote fact-checkers and to help the general public identify fake news. Misinformation has become a major issue in recent years with the rise of social media platforms and the internet as our main source of news, so we have created the following short manual as a supportive guide to easily recognize fake news and avoid spreading it.

Social media has largely taken away the standard of accuracy that the mainstream media hold themselves to. A post containing fake news can be created and widely disseminated within hours. The more sensational and manipulative the more likely it is to go viral.

This becomes dangerous because anyone could easily be tricked by fake news and continue spreading it. Additionally, some mainstream media have accidentally included fake news in their coverage. On the other hand, fact-checking sources have arisen all over the globe to combat misinformation.

Definitions

Fake news – A news story that is fake at its core because it uses unverifiable facts, unreliable sources, conspiracy theories, or fabricated quotes. Whether it is created as a source of deliberate misinformation, propaganda or just clickbait it is still fake news.

Misinformation – False or inaccurate information that is mistakenly or inadvertently created then spread. There is not an intent to deceive the readers.

Mal-information – Information that is based on reality, but has been manipulated to inflict harm on a person, organization, or country. The hope of the creator is to spread fear or hate.

Disinformation – False information that is deliberately created and spread in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth. Oftentimes, it has political or economic motivations behind it.


Fact-Checking Guides

“My Loved One Thinks I Will Microchip Humanity” Now What? – https://euvsdisinfo.eu/my-loved-one-thinks-bill-gates-will-microchip-humanity-now-what/

A Quick Guide To Spotting Fake News – https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/first-amendment-center/primers/fake-news-primer/

FactCheck.org’s How To Spot Fake News – https://www.factcheck.org/2016/11/how-to-spot-fake-news/

FactCheck.org also created a 7-part video series on how to write fact-checking articles – https://www.facebook.com/watch/413662619173814/193734829222528/

Reveal’s Guide To Spotting Fake News – https://revealnews.org/about-us/reveals-guide-to-spotting-fake-news/

Fact-Checking Sources

FactCheck.org – https://www.factcheck.org/

Washington Post Fact Check – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/

New York Times Fact Check – https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/fact-checks

BBC Fact Check – https://www.bbc.com/news/reality_check

Poytner – https://www.poynter.org/media-news/fact-checking/

Reverse Google Image Search – https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1325808?hl=en

Bot-O-Meter – https://botometer.osome.iu.edu/

Snopes – https://www.snopes.com/


Fake News Generator: Who Starts Viral Misinformation? – BBC News

The following BBC-produced video talks about the different kinds of people who post misinformation on the internet as well it explains how fake news spread further and how it reaches mainstream media.

The Joker – When the entire globe went into lockdown photos began circulating that captured nature reviving in different areas due to the lack of people. However, people started photoshopping impossible situations like dolphins swimming in the Venetian canals. While very funny, these fake photos took away from the large conversation of climate change that had been sparked by real images of nature.

The Scammer – In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic there was a high demand for N95 masks, which are medical grade and provided the best protection from the virus. However, the high demand was followed by shortages and scammers started selling fake N95s. They offered limited protection and could do real harm if accidentally used by hospital workers.

The Politician – An example of a politician spreading fake news about Covid-19 was in 2020 when former president Donald Trump suggested that Covid-19 was not a threat to the US. He made this statement after he had contracted. and survived the virus himself. The assertion may sound ludicrous as Covid-19 has killed millions globally, but his followers took this as a cue to continue not wearing masks and holding large gatherings. This recklessness fake news did have a negative cost on the American public.

The Conspiracy Theorist – John Kuhles, who runs several anti-5G conspiracy websites and social media pages. In a Facebook post last year, Kuhles claimed that a recent mass die-off of birds in the Netherlands was caused by a5G antenna test. In reality, the tests happened months before the birds died, but this conspiracy theory spread across the globe. (See this article for more information.)

The Insider –  Famously in 1998, Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues published a case series in, which suggested that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism in children. Despite the 12 person sample size and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received wide publicity. MMR vaccination rates began to drop based on this supposed insider information.


Fact-Checking Infographic


Key Questions To Ask When Faced With Fake News

Who is the creator of the information? Is the author using a fake name or a real one? It is important to determine the author’s legitimacy: is he an expert or not on the subject?

What is the creators goal? The author can either present facts to the reader or give their personal opinion. He cannot do both.

What is the nature of the site and its publisher? Check to see whether the site is online news, social media, or a blog. The site or publisher could be owned by a Swiss or foreign group, a political party, a
company, or individual.

What are the objectives of the site? Does the site aim to sell, to inform, to campaign, to convince, to manipulate, to scare or to create the buzz.

How is the site presented? The structure, the clarity of the language, the type of advertisements, the presentation of a site often reveal how credible the information is. The more professional and formal, the more legitimate the site.

Where does the information come from? The source of the information is essential to determine its credibility. The origin of a figure or a quote allows the reader to refer to it directly. If the site does not provide sources this is a major red flag.

Has the information been posted on other sites? It is important to compare and cross sources. This makes it possible to see if the information is present on other platforms and to see how it is analyzed elsewhere.

What do the comments say? Internet user comments are useful for gauging the credibility of the information provided and point out inconsistencies.


Why Is Fake News Harmful To Our Society?

Information shapes our world view and we make important decisions based on information. We form our opinions on people or a situation by obtaining information. So if the information we receive from the internet is invented, false, exaggerated or distorted, we won’t make good decisions

Political Impact – Since Russia was caught using Facebook to influence the 2016 United States presidential elections, fake news has been called a danger to democracy. This may seem like an overstatement, but the reality is fake news can do a lot of harm to political candidates campaigns and create divisions among groups. For example, former US president Donald Trump used fake news to convince his followers that he actually won the 2020 presidential election. His inflammatory language and call for action caused Trump supporters to break into the US capitol. Congressional leaders were forced to flee and five people were killed. This was a direct attack on American democracy that, while ultimately unsuccessful, was spurred by fake news and directly jeopardized American democracy.

Economic impact – Economically, fake news has manipulated people into boycotting businesses, spending their money on scams, and if sensationalized can lead to major economic losses on a national scale. For example, the fake news surrounding 5G implementation has caused people to fear it as a health risk and a privacy concern. In Europe, people are rallying to stop 5G installation. In reality, 5G technology will be essential to maintain competitiveness in the global market.

Health impact – From the way we fight Covid-19 to the smaller scale of buying counterfeit products, fake news has an impact on global health. When people have questions about their personal health it seems easiest to goggle it. These internet users are then in danger of stumbling upon fake news and accepting it as fact. Creators of fake news have both intensified fear over the pandemic by saying it is a Chinese bio-weapon or that the vaccine Covid-19 vaccine carries a microchip and endangered lives by calling it a hoax. This influx of false information can actually endanger people’s health by convincing them to forgo a mask or to take unnecessary medications.

Media impact – Social media and illegitimate news sources are largely to blame for the spread of fake news, which has created a major lack of trust between the international community and the media. According to a Poytner survey from 2018, when asked how frequently “major news organizations fabricate news stories,” the most frequent answer is “once in a while” (40%). Nearly half of the public (47%) believe that news organizations fabricate stories “about half the time” or more and just 14% believe that news outlets “never” do so. News is essential to our ability to function and stay updated on world event, so we cannot dismiss media altogether. Instead please utilize fact checking websites and the helpful tips above.


Fake News Generators

Frequencia

Stop 5G International

Citizens For 5G Awareness

Natural News

Life Site News

Sputnik News

RT News

Counter Punch

Global Research

We Are The Evidence

%d bloggers like this: