Recently, the term ‘fake’ news has become more and more familiar. It’s not the first time, false information spread through the media channels like what is presented to us via social media. However, the buzz surrounding this topic was started during Trump’s campaign. As we all know the result, Trump, with his famous tagline, “make America great again” has won the US election and currently sitting at the White House. Standford University has published a research on this subject.
So, what is ‘fake’ news and ‘fuck’ news, anyway?
I end up with these terms after seeing so many news articles landed to my timeline as my friends send across their ‘like’ button or share link to of certain blogs or so what they believe to be news sites. The increased overflow of articles from these unfamiliar sources were started around six-months back. Yep, Jakarta governor election.
What less people know, blogs represent personal opinion upon something, in this matter the writers opinion. Although we could find several blogs writings and/or articles packed with supporting data or facts, it is still and will always be considered personal opinion.
The objectivity of the content would always be subject for questions, unless we know the writers personally, or the blogs include a short biography or any relevant reference of the writers. In that way, as readers, we can do a double check on his/her overall view about written matters.
An interesting example of this might be the boy genius report or known as bgr.com which launched in 2006. If you have time to dig deeper, there’s an interesting story behind it.
Yes, a ‘….news.com‘ or ‘news….com’ or any other domain with news tag in it do not make the site a news site. Do a proper cross-check on items you read over the internet or about to share via social media. Don’t do blindly sharing without proper checking. Ask questions. Be critical!
News articles with no credibility linked to it, at all, would go straight to my ‘fake’ news list. Would I read it? Yes, if I find the title interesting, however if later I discover the content to be contradict with my previous readings without supporting facts or I could not find any link or references outside the site and not to mention there are no credible source of the writers, it stays as ‘fake’ news.
Social media offers room for ‘fake’ news or information to widely spread, and the scary part is, it could happen super fast. Facebook and Twitter appear as the commonly used. This matter has become more and more alarming as some parties have seen and aware the great advantage of harnessing this super power to sway certain perspectives and opinions towards something.
The most recent I found, same pattern growing in French entering its election period. Quoting to the news article, “researchers from Oxford University found up to a quarter of the political links shared on Twitter in France were based on misinformation. They were identified as deliberately false and expressed “ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan or conspiratorial” views with logical flaws and opinions presented as facts.”
A credible news article must stands the basis of What – Who – When – Where – Why and How; Confirmation from sources or facts being delivered; Covering facts and information on both side, if there are two side of the story. Balance with meaning no intention of weighing to one side of party. Lastly, the state of information shares great important for public. Whereas the writers feel obligated to make public of the information, without leaving behind the what – who – when and all those basic stands.
But wait, how about the ‘fuck’ news part? If the writer failed to deliver the above basis of credibility to the articles s/he wrote and provided no credibility about her/himself then, without a doubt, the news would end up in my ‘fuck’ news bucket. For me this apply to all articles, either coming from official news site or even more, the un-official ones.
It is up to us to sort out what we read and share.
Things we spread to our network becomes the most crucial part as there are always at least 3 angle of a story or information. The angle of the writer, the source and the angle which we don’t know and would remain secret until… well, maybe until Mr. Crab finally decided to tell Plankton that there’s no secret recipe 😉
Facebook has taken great seriousness over tackling the ‘fake’ news matters as outlined by its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg in several media. Sandberg highlighted that Facebook is very determined on decreasing the financial incentives for false news because most of times it is financially driven.
At another source, as quoted to BBC Newsnight, ”We are really a platform and we take our responsibilities on false news very seriously. “False news hurts everyone because it makes our community uninformed, it hurts our community, it hurts countries. “And we know that people want to see accurate news on Facebook and that’s what we want them to see.” She said Facebook did not want to be an “arbiter of the truth”, saying having such an editorial voice was not “appropriate for us”.
How do we spot a fake news, here are 10 tips from Facebook itself, and more efforts from Facebook on fake news could be found here.
Fake news | Facebook’s tips for spotting it
. Be skeptical of headlines. The headlines of fake news stories are often catchy, and contain lots of capital letters and exclamation marks. If claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they may well be.
. Look closely at the URL. Many false news stories mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the URL. You can go to the site to compare the URL to established sources.
. Check the source. Ensure the story comes from a source with a reputation for accuracy. If the story comes from a site you have not heard of, check their “About” section to learn more.
. Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news stories often contain spelling and grammar errors, as well as an awkward looking layout.
. Check the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic, but taken out of context. You can do an internet search of the image to find out where it came from.
. Check the dates. Fake news stories may contain timelines that make no sense, or event dates which are wrong or have been altered.
. Check the evidence. Check the author’s sources to confirm they are accurate. Lack of evidence, or a reliance on unnamed experts may indicate false news.
. Look at other reports. If no other news source is reporting the same story, it could indicate that it is false.
. Some stories are intentionally false. Think critically about the stories that you read, and only share articles which you know to be credible.