Internet today is brimming with news on every subject and health news is no different. But, what you also see is that with the internet and mobile phones on every other hand circulating or sharing the information is a matter of just one click or tap. Though this has brought about a progressive change in terms of information availability and sharing on the flip side fake news circulation keeps coming up regularly and people are caught in a frenzy of sharing without confirming or authenticating the truth of the matter.
Fake news can turn out to be very harmful and one example of it being the winning of the presidential election by Donald Trump as per critics and Investigators. They believe it is all a result of the propaganda of fake news. Apparently, fake healthcare news can be even more dangerous because of the instant and continuous sharing of it through social media channels. As per one survey in 2016 the 20 most shared topics included the keyword cancer and even more startling was the fact that over half of them were misleading full of dubious claims on cancer recovery.
Hence, it becomes important that we as adults be aware of the facts and fiction shared on the internet. We don’t have to believe these claims blindly or share such articles with false claims. What happens is when we see that bla bla health article has had this many million views, were are automatically attracted to reading it and further believing in all the content but here is when we need to be alert and not give in to the numbers. Let us go through some points that can help you identify or differentiate between fake and authentic news.
The publication – do check out for the name of the publication before you believe in it. There are many sources of information sharing and if you find that it is a reliable source like news agency ANI or Times of India, Hindustan Times and more you may as well know that it is verified before publishing and not just shared by any user.
Credibility of Research Journal – The news needs to have some evidence. If it has evidence of research journals published it is reliable else it is definitely a hoax. You can simply google search to check the source that is cited and find out if it is a peer-reviewed journal or fake news.
Don’t support conspired stuff – You find news with headlines like too good to be true or sources tried to hide this news of HIV cure since long like umpteen times across your views. Know for sure that this sort of headline is made to entice you to read the articles and share them and are absolutely false or fake.
Report Fake news and spread the word – If you seem to find out from reliable research that the news is fake do report it along with your scientific claims and evidence you have to prove that the news is fake. Spread the word and also report to social media sites that do have a facility to report fake news.
Well, we are adults enough to understand that fake news can be really dangerous and by being aware and spreading the word, we only do our bit to keep our society away from unwanted and potentially malicious content.