How to identify fake news on WhatsApp, here are some tips for you

For, WhatsApp the fake news has become one of the most serious problem and with the increasing instances of it, being circulated on WhatsApp. The need to identify the authenticity of messages has never been more crucial than now. So, you must know the tips to identify fake news on WhatsApp.

The government has also asked WhatsApp to stop the spread of fake and proactive news. And, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp had taken out full-page ads in newspapers a couple of months ago, offering tips to spot fake news. WhatsApp has been making an attempt to create awareness about the issue of fake news and has taken certain steps also to combat it.

While, the company has brought some changes to its app to tackle the fake news problem. Here we have shared some tips to find out if the message shared on WhatsApp is real or not.

Tips to identify fake news on WhatsApp

1. Forward label on WhatsApp

Don’t take every message you receive on WhatsApp to be true, especially forwarded messages. WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature, now all ‘forward messages’ on WhatsApp come with a clear label ‘Forwarded’ that allows users to know if a message is forwarded. So, always be skeptical of the authenticity of such kind of messages before sharing it. It is better to wait for a number of media outlets to share the same news rather than sharing something that has not been verified.

2. Check information on Google Search

We often receive stories via WhatsApp that seem hard to believe. It’s always best to check them rather than believing in them blindly. Chances of them actually being untrue are quite high. If you notice a suspicious message on WhatsApp and are not too sure whether it is true, perform a Google Search of selected keywords from that message.

3. Check the URL of link shared in messages

Always check the URL’s links that you receive, especially the domain name. Most of the sites that spread fake or unverified news have ridiculous or outlandish domain names and are not well known. Here too bad grammar is sign to know that something’s not right. Because, biggest give away of hoaxes or fake news are wrong spellings or bad grammar. So, always look for these signs to verify any information you receive.

4. Check photos/videos in messages carefully

Not every image you see might be true. There have been numerous instances of morphed images shared online especially on WhatsApp to incite violence or share a political agenda. Just like text messages, always check photos and videos too carefully. As these too can be easily edited/photoshopped to mislead readers.

5. Scrutinize the headlines

If a message that you receive on WhatsApp has a headline that predicts a future disaster, there is a high chance that this is a fake message. I am sure you must have received messages on WhatsApp about the world ending in 2012? That is one example of a predictive message. In another tip shared, WhatsApp asks users to always question any message/information that upsets them. “If you read something that makes you angry or afraid, ask whether it was shared to make you feel that way. And if the answer is yes, think twice before sharing it again”. Predictive disaster or messages that induce anger are spread just to cause panic and violence among people.

6. Use other sources to cross-check

Before taking action or believing any story shared on WhatsApp, always check other news websites or apps. If the story has appeared in multiple places, it’s more likely to be

Conclusion

It is our duty to be vigilant when it comes to sharing information online because Fake News can have drastic and often fatal consequences. You should always verify the source before sharing messages on WhatsApp and when in doubt, just wait to check if the news is shared on other popular outlets.

We should learn to use Mass media responsibly as it is a powerful medium to spread the news. Let us know in the comments if these Tips to identify fake news on WhatsApp helps or if you want to add some more tips for our readers.

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Ranjit Ranjan

More than 11 years of experience in web development projects in countries such as US and India. Blogger by passion and SEO expert by profession.

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