What is Fake news?
Although the internet has a number of benefits it can also be used to spread misinformation in the form of deceptive, confusing or fraudulent news and content. Sharing misinformation can have some serious consequences especially if the content becomes viral. The information can lead to health worries, bogus claims and potentially and potentially destructive hoax stories. False rumours shared on social platforms have turned fake news into physical violence, mob behaviour and even emergency situations in some parts of the world that has cost lives and caused irreparable damage to societies by creating social tension.
Before you like, comment or share online, use the S.H.A.R.E checklist to make sure you’re not contributing to the spread of harmful content.Take a look at this handy guide that the Government has put together so you can identify if the information you are reading could possibly be fake or a hoax.
Make sure that the story is written by a source you trust, with a reputation for accuracy. If it’s from an unfamiliar organisation, check for a website’s ‘About’ section to learn more.
Always read beyond the headline. If it sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Be wary if something doesn’t seem to add up.
Make sure you check the facts. Just because you have seen a story several times, doesn’t mean it’s true. If you’re not sure, look at fact checking websites and other reliable sources to double check.
Check whether the image looks like it has been or could have been manipulated. False news stories often contain retouched photos or re-edited clips. Sometimes they are authentic, but have been taken out of context.
Many false news stories have phony or look-alike URLs. Look out for misspellings, bad grammar or awkward layouts.