The Internet is everyone’s main source of information. People perform online searches all the time. It’s the easiest way to find out something, from major news affecting the entire world to recipes and all sorts of practical data that really help us out. However, there’a a dark side to this easy access, as most of us found out in the past few years. Fake news phenomenon is not something new and sadly, it’s not something we can escape. The best we can do is to change our mindset and become a bit more suspicious when running across hard to believe or unexpected information.
Investintech.com lists 8 tools that will help you tell the difference between fake news and truthful information:
- Snopes.com – debunks the urban legends and misinformation people find on the internet
- FindExif.com – help you take the first steps in trying to determine if an image is original or hides something
- InVID – Chrome plugin that allows you to verify and debunk videos
- Reverse Image Search (TinEye) – another quick way to check images
- Hoaxy – allows you to “visualize the spread of claims and fact checking.”
- Wolfram|Alpha – looks like Google, but it’s not :) It can be used to verify statistics, raw facts or small details to determine the credibility of an article.
- twXplorer – helps you navigate through more or less credible tweets
- Factcheck.org – Just like Snopes.com, the writers on the site document the research they find.
So, quite a few tools you can rely on to make sure you won’t fall prey to fake news and make important decisions based on that. In addition to these tools, there are some recommendations experts say are often useful, such as:
- Being skeptical, as a general rule. Not paranoid, it’s a fine line between the two of them, but taking everything with a grain of salt might help us these days
- What does your gut tell you? Well, experts say you should trust your gut more. If it seems unbelievable, better check it, make sure the information is published by reliable sources. Does it turn up on trusted websites? If the answer is yes-> “No further questions, your Honor”, right?
- Does it make you incredibly sad or angry? Because some such articles are manufactured to trigger strong feelings. So if a particular information makes you incredibly emotional, think twice before acting upon it.
In the end, remember that even the best researchers will be fooled once in a while. So if you find yourself fooled by a fake news story, use your experience as a learning tool.