Ever since the revolution started, more and more fake news and videos are circulating around. Fake news are a serious problem across the world as they get a lot of attention and can have dire consequences. Even people with a minimal sense of media literacy can fall for such news, which is why I thought I list the below methods that can help fact-check before sharing all over social media:
1- Check the author & publisher, look for the information elsewhere:
When you get a link to an article from an unknown website with a flashy title, it’s a clear sign that something’s not right. Check the website first, copy the title or some part of the text and google them to see if they appear in other known and credible news sources.
Chances are if it’s an important event, it should be found across news portals, online magazines and TV portals.
2- Google the image before sharing it:
The easiest way to verify a picture before sharing it is Google.
Just go to Google
–> Switch to Images
–> Upload the picture
–> If you see the same picture in older results or in stories outside Lebanon for ex, this means it’s fake.
3- Don’t share quotes by politicians without checking their accounts:
If you see a statement circulating around attributed to the head of the Lebanese Army for example or the Prime Minister, check their official accounts or pages on Twitter and Facebook and make sure it’s there.
4- Read the article, not just the headline:
This might seem like a normal thing to do, but most people just read titles and share. If the author is leaning towards a certain direction, or listing one-sided arguments, try look elsewhere to get the full story.
5- Share with close friends first:
Whenever I’m doubtful about a story or a video or a picture, I share with a group of close friends and ask them if they’ve heard about it. It’s wiser to do so rather than share instantly and look dumb afterwards, especially with everything happening now and the tons of videos and pictures we’re getting by the hour.
All in all, we’ve all shared a false piece of information at some point. I try my best to validate the sources before sharing anything and I make sure to correct any false or incomplete piece of information I share. We’re getting bombarded by news of the revolution, let us think before sharing and maintain a minimal level of credibility across social media channels, especially when it comes to divisive and sensitive issues.