Facebook continues its crusade against false news and disinformation techniques that use its platform. If in January he announced an update to his trends section, a first step of a global plan, in April he continued to show the user related articles and proof of fact verification before accessing certain links. Efforts to empower the user that supports with its decalogue to detect false news.

Because although a social network or an aggregator can put barriers to these fake news , Internet users continue to be exposed. A link to biased or false information, to texts or audiovisual material whose purpose is deception and the alteration of our opinion on any subject, may come through private conversations or other means. That is why the key is to instruct users.

The keys to detect fake news

At random, every so often, the social network shows an animation in the latest news section with some newspapers, a magnifying glass and a clear title: “Suggestions for detecting false news”. “We are working to limit the spread of false news,” says the notice, and part of that work is to provide its users with this series of tips. Many result from common sense, but it is not superfluous to have them present.

  1. “Do not trust the headlines”: The striking titles, with implausible and shocking statements, exclamation symbols, capital letters … can most likely be false news.
  2. Examine the URL: Since many of the fake news sites imitate authentic media, it is important to carefully look at the address to warn possible spoofing.
  3. Investigate the source of the news: If you do not know the organization that provides the information and you do not have details about its good reputation in terms of truth, you can be faced with an instrument of misinformation.
  4. Pay attention to the format: Strange designs and generalized misspellings can be indicative of a false news. Is there a section with comments but have you noticed that there is no way to leave one? It is another indicative more.
  5. Pay attention to the photos: As in other situations, it is always a good idea to do a reverse search of the photographs. Sometimes they can be manipulations, but sometimes they can be taken out of context. If you have drawn lines, be careful in your analysis.
  6. Check the dates: “False news may have a meaningless chronology or include dates that have been altered,” says this advice. And not only have to check the dates in possible false news, but in any other; they may be past issues that some groups distribute by passing them off as current.
  7. Verify the facts: It is interesting to contrast the sources of the authors of the information, as far as possible, to confirm that indeed an event has taken place. Without evidence or with hidden sources, it may be a new fake .
  8. Check other news: If the story is only in one place, is not exclusive and no other means is being echoed, the story that is told may be false. Do not trust the unique stories.
  9. Is the story a joke?: Sometimes we will not be faced with false news, but rather with humorous sites that tell jokes in the form of news. You have to make sure that the source of the information is not a web of satire or parody. It is a good idea to look for a legal notice or a section about information, where this circumstance is usually indicated.
  10. Some stories are intentionally false: Finally, Facebook recommends maintaining a critical attitude when reading an information and sharing only those news that we think are credible. Natural.

An advice, the one that closes the list, essential even when true information is consumed. Because performing active readings of each news item, trying to contrast each point with information from other media and with the fact itself, is always a good idea. Especially if we talk about controversial news or sensitive issues.