How to spot fake news on Facebook


The fast distribution of information across social media platforms and the instant access to it leaves little space if none to the fact-checking process. While the audience can follow an event as it unfolds, it can do so by accessing several links that might or might not be reliable. Reading, watching, listening or sharing of such a misleading content can manipulate the audience by influencing its ideology and thus, impact the public opinion.

In response to this issue, Facebook has launched a campaign that teaches its users how to distinguish between the authentic and the malicious copycat news sites and new stories. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook has previously said the social media platform treats the information published on the site as “very serious” and works to “outright hoaxes”.

Earlier in March, the social media company has posted a list on its platform and “to help people become more discerning readers”. Facebook has pinned the same tips on top of users’ News Feed in 14 different countries, UK included.

The list comes in handy … but we made it even handier for you!

1. Be cautious with clickbait – shocking headlines written in caps & which use exclamation points

2. Avoid any phony or look-alike URL’s. Go to genuine websites and compare them

3. Check the source for accuracy: read articles from reputable media organisations

4. Pay attention to misspellings or weird layouts

5. Verify where your footage has been taken from

6. Inspect the dates. Sometimes timelines in fake stories make no sense

7. Check the evidence. Lack of true facts can hint a story is false

8. Look for similar stories and compare them to check the facts reported

9. Try to distinguish whether the story is a parody or a satire

10. Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically

Follow these 10 steps and you’ll be fine!

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