Guess what’s spreading faster than the coronavirus? Fake news! All it takes is a few seconds to hit the forward message button to broadcast a story that is inaccurate, causing misinformation and sometimes even panic.
As the Movement Control Order confines us within our homes, we turn to our screens to stay connected to the outside world, and we are consuming a lot more content online and on instant messaging platforms. More screen time means more exposure to fake news.
In this day and age, with the ease of access to information, everyone is eager to share news, views and videos – don’t we all have that one friend or family member who forwards 100 messages every day in group chats without separating fact from fiction? The point is we are bombarded with so much content and messages these days, but how do we know what is real and what is not?
Good thing it is not difficult to spot fake news once you know what to look out for. Here are a few basic tips.
Verify content credibility
Look at trusted news sources to see if the story is being reported elsewhere. You know it is 100% true when a piece of news is reported on official pages and mainstream media websites such as The Star, BERNAMA and so on.
Check the publication or source’s credibility
Read the “About Us” section to get more insight on the publication/source. This section will provide better understanding on the publication/source’s leadership, mission statement and credentials. A quick web search on the author’s name may also direct you to additional information about the author and what he/she has written before.
Pay attention to timeliness
Some stories and news might seem timely. Before trusting the story, make sure to pay more attention to the date to ensure that the story is current and not republished from years back.
Use fact-checking websites
To verify and be more certain of the news, websites such as MCMC’s Sebenarnya.my and Outbreak.my can help differentiate real news over fake. Do make it a point to use them whenever you are unsure. Remember, when in doubt, always verify before you share!