Fake news is a type of yellow journalism that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via the traditional print, broadcasting news media, or via Internet-based social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention according to Wikipedia
In its purest form, fake news is completely made up, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and attract maximum attention and, with it, advertising revenue.
With all the ramifications that go with the fake news, the need to wrestle fake news has been growing and the noise louder as increasingly, stories are made up,publish and spread on social media which can cause harm or public disorder especially at this period when the country is tense.
With the ongoing Anglophone crisis which has been ongoing for months now, many on social media spread either through writing, or sharing information which they cannot identify with, whose source is not known and simply put was fake news.
In our efforts to combat fake news in the country, tebopsot has gone for ‘fit to publish’ only making available stories which have been duly verified, sources given and purpose to informed.
How can you identify fake news?
If it’s a rumor, alleged story or the source is always unconfirmed or the writer cannot clearly and in all authority state names and states his or her source and facts; then the news is fake news!
If you’re not sure if a site is legitimate, look for any red flags in its domain name, such as “.com.co”, and it’s About Us section. Google the sources of any quotes or figures given in the story – most fake news don’t have either, a warning sign in itself.
If the headlines are in upper case letters, then there may be a red flag, real stories don’t need to shout
If the first you’ve heard of a particular event is from a website you’ve never heard of, there may be a reason
And what can I do to stop its spread?
Share responsibly. Much as it might depress you to think in such terms, you are an influencer within your own social network: put in the legwork above, and only post or share stories you know to be true, from sources you know to be responsible. It’s the “take only photographs, leave only footprints” for the post-truth era.
You can help shape the media you want, too. Withhold “hate-clicking” on stories you know are designed to make you angry. Pay for journalism you value.
And if you have connections on Facebook who think Onion stories are real, break it to them gently. Friends don’t let friends share fake news.