It is likely that more fake news stories will surface about the crisis, particularly in the run-up to next year’s presidential election. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter have revealed plans to fight the global problem of fake news, but here are five ways you can stop the spread of misinformation:
Check the source: Fake social media accounts often try to appear as if they are from legitimate news sites, so check that every account you share information from is genuine. Verified accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a blue tick.
Look at multiple sources: Although this isn’t foolproof, it’s nonetheless worth checking multiple reputable new sources when trying to verify if what you’re seeing is real. Ask yourself: Are trusted news outlets also reporting this information?
Verification tools: There are dozens of tools online that can help determine the authenticity of a picture or a video. Google, Bing and Tin Eye all offer a reverse image search, which can tell you where images have been used before. Video verification is more tricky, but tools like InVid allow you to select video from Facebook and YouTube to see if or where these videos have been used before.
Check metadata: If you have an original video or picture, you can check the metadata which will give you a wealth of information, including where and when the image or video was taken plus the device make and model. Unfortunately, when images and videos are uploaded to social media platforms their metadata is stripped out.
Think before you post: It sounds obvious, but be careful not to add to the problem of fake news. Before you post, ask yourself if you’re sure the information you’re about to post is real.