6 Tips To Easily Identify False News Online And How To Report It

September 2, 2021

As the name implies, false news is a narrative that is published and promoted as true, even though it isn’t. False news has always been an issue, but the advent of social media has made it easier for anyone to publish anything they want and call it true in order to further their agenda. Regardless of the intent or motivations behind it, false news can cause real-world harm because it can be used to push agendas and alter people’s beliefs and behaviours. That’s why we’ve outlined 6 different ways to spot false news and the right actions to take when you do.

1) Shine your eye well when looking at the headline.

Does a headline sound weirdly sensational, too good to be true, written in all caps, or contain an insane number of exclamation points? This is an issue common with articles containing false news. Another thing you should do is read the full article and not just the headline. Many publications engage in clickbait (twisting the wordings of headlines and misrepresenting the story to shock readers and get them talking). So you too, try to dey gather full gist.

2) Pay close attention to the link.

Magnifying Glass | Apu Apustaja | Know Your Meme

Most websites that spew false news use URLs similar to those of established news websites. They do this by mimicking their links and making small changes – like adding a few characters. Don’t let these people run you street. If an article’s link looks sketchy, compare it to a real link from the established news website they’re imitating.

3) Investigate the source.

If the news has been published by a source you don’t recognise or trust, check the “About” section of the website to learn about them. Then look them up on a search engine to see what their internet history is like. If they have a history of lying, it’s best not to do amebo with the news.

4) Find out if other news outlets are reporting the same gist.

In this case, there’s nothing like “there’s no smoke without fire.” If you check and no one else is reporting that sweet and scandalous news you just saw, it means it is most likely not real. It’s not everything online that’s true oooh! Some are exaggerated and some are lies. If you’re not sure of the authenticity of the news source. DO NOT share the post.

5) Painstakingly go over the pictures/videos.

People who publish false news usually present edited pictures and videos to back up their lies. Sometimes, the pictures/videos may be real but used out of context to confuse everybody. To avoid being deceived, you can reverse search images on search engines to find their original source. If you don’t know how to reverse search images, better go and learn. Wise up oh.

6) Inspect the dates.

Some false stories aren’t completely false, but rather distortions of real events. These claims can take a legitimate news story and twist what it says — or even claim that something that happened long ago is related to current events.  If the dates/timelines in an article look like something from the past, it may be false news.

Brethren, please do your part to minimise the spread of false news online. Even though some people share false news without realizing it, the six tips mentioned above will help you learn how to identify it. Don’t be misinformed. It is time to join the fight against misinformation and false news online. Thankfully, there is something you can do about it, especially on social media. Facebook is providing tips for its users to minimise the spread of false news. Today, we will share the easy steps to take when you identify false news online.

  • Go to the top of the article and click the three dots.
  • Click on the option that says ‘report post.’
  • Click ‘False information’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Click ‘Done’

If you spend time online or use social media to stay informed, it’s important to do these things and ensure our favourite platforms remain a safe and secure place, free of false news. Join Zikoko and Facebook as we work together to create a #NoFalsenewszone.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 15, 2021

Elsa Majimbo is a 19-year-old old comedian, celebrity and internet sensation who came to the limelight by making very funny and relatable content on her Instagram page. We’ll have typically begged her to cut soap for us, but where’s the fun in that when we can just blow like her. Here’s a list of very […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

More from Inside Life

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X