Quickly Distinguish between Real and Fake News: 10 Tips to Survive being Misinformed

South Africa and the world is currently facing the worst tragedy since the Second World War and the effects of the Coronavirus (whether you belief in it or not) have not only crippled our economies but have also destroyed the way we think and operate forever.

Unfortunately a lot of information is being sent around on mainstream and social media of which sadly most are untrue or fake news.

Mainstream media had been caught off guard on several occasions to distribute false or inaccurate news and have become the most powerful weapon of our time as a propaganda engine influencing the way we accept or resist what is happening.

In order to help us not to participate in the forward and circulation of untrue or fake news, I have made a list of 10 tips everyone must consider before we forward news we belief is the truth.

Consideration 1: Is there a date, time and place?

If the media or information does not have a date, time and place associated with it, the chances that the media is fake or not applicable on the current situation is almost a given.

Consideration 2: Does the media appear real?

When the media you want to forward portrays something that is unlikely or trying to show you what is against reasonable norms, the chances that it is fake is very good.

Consideration 3: Will the media have a reaction of shock or hysteria?

Many media have the intention to either shock the normal person or create mass hysteria. Please make sure that the media is credible in all other ways before you share it with others.

Consideration 4: Is the media coming from a credible source?

Social media had been flooded with documents purporting to come from the government, but was found to be fake based on the fact that all important documents will be traceable directly to the government or source on their own official websites or contained in the Government Gazette.

Consideration 5: Did you verify the authenticity with others in the group before you decide to share?

Many people forward media out of impulse and only later realise through discussions that the media was fake. If you had shared it with others, especially on mass groups before you have realised that it was fake, you have already shared fake news with many possible gulible people where many could also forward to others through impulse.

Please be a responsible source of information especially in this regard.

Consideration 6: Does the media tell you to share with others to receive something?

The moment when media has a clause that you must share it with a certain number of people to receive something, you must know that it’s fake. Unfortunately religious media in particular loves to tell people to forward it to a number of people to receive some blessing which must be discarded immediately.

Very important is that once you are requested to forward media to a number of people in order to receive some price, please realise that if there is indeed such a competition that it will be advertised on an official website. It’s not possible for business to track how many times one has forwarded or shared media in any event.

Consideration 7: Is there signs of tampering?

One can easily see whether media was tampered with, or key detail that is supposed to be there have been omitted. For example, if you see someone assaulting a person, make sure the full images of all logical characters and the environment are included.

If media shows a person suddenly disappearing or dragon coming out of clouds, the chances are almost 100% that the media was tampered with or created just like a movie.

Consideration 8: Is there a need to forward the media immediately or can you wait?

It is seldom unnecessary to share media immediately unless you are sure you wanted to do it. By waiting just a while to get confirmation from others first or to verify authenticity will be the most responsible thing to do.

Consideration 9: Do you know the person who sent it to you?

If you don’t know the person you received the media from, think twice to share the media unless you have checked it first.

On the other hand, if you know the person and his or her character, you will know whether such person is someone who is uninformed and could belief anything on social media or not. Ask your source where he or she got the information and whether its authenticity was confirmed or not.

Consideration 10: Do you trust your sixth sense?

Always trust your sixth sense. If something appears too unlikely or you feel uncomfortable whether you can trust it or not, it probably is.

These are my quick tips to easily distinguish between real and fake news and when you follow these steps, the possibly is very good that you will become a realist and contribute to educate all people with facts and not confuse people.

Important: Please test this message whether it adheres to the 10 Considerations. If you are satisfied that the content have been verified, you are welcome to share this with other people and groups too.😉