5 Questions to help you decide.

5 Ways to determine if it is Fake..

 Is the news you read True or Fake? Fake News is a term new to us and is now the opposite of what I grew up to expect from news people like Edward R Murrow.  Cristina Nagler in the Harvard Business Review defines Fake News as stories that seemed accurate but were actually downright false. Fake News is a phenomenon the internet has enabled. You can read a story, believe it to be true and send it to all your friends, who can send it to their friends and the next thing you know 100’s of thousands have read and believed this story that is fake. This happens because marketers and psychologists have figured out how to get our attention and how to manipulate us so we think fake is real.

Rating News Stories

When people are asked to rate the apparent truthfulness of news stories, they score ones they have read multiple times more truthful than those they haven’t.  Danielle C. Polage, in her article “Making Up History: False Memories of Fake News Stories,” explains that a false story I have exposed someone to more than once can seem more credible than an accurate one they’re seeing for the first time. 

In experimental settings, people also mis-attribute their previous exposure to stories, believing they read a news item from another source when they saw it as part of a prior part of a study. Even when people know the story is part of the experiment; they sometimes think they’ve also read it elsewhere. The repetition is all that matters.

Protect yourself from Fake news

So how do we protect ourselves from Fake news and find the truth? We have to do our homework. Take the time and identify the sources that are reputable and only read those. Limit the time we spend consuming every word of the news they present us with. We no longer just see newspapers and magazines where stories were. written. The stories were reviewed by others before being published and read by us. We now have a whole new media platform of tv stations that have so-called news shows that are on 24 hours a day and only providing people’s opinions. 

As you know if someone has an opinion, they will share there are another dozen people who have the opposite opinion or one that does not agree with the initial opinion given. And the news channels have to fill the time. So instead of actual news we have non-stop opinion shows.

5 ways to help you determine fake news

So, let me share with you 5 ways to determine whether not the news you are hearing is true or not.

  1. Limit the number of sources you listen to. Carl Sagen in his article, the Illusory Truth said. “We need not spend as much time reading the news as most of us do. As with many other things in life, more can be less. The vast majority of the news we read is just information pollution. It doesn’t do us any good.”
  2. Ask yourself: Is it true? Does it make sense, or does it seem to be an exaggeration? Is it a statistic? The number of deaths rose 100% this week. Statistics can be used to misinform or give the wrong impression. You should treat them with a grain of salt unless they provide you with the data, they used to make the calculation and you understand it.
  3. Do you absolutely believe it to be true? Another chance to make yourself think and give it the smell test. If it makes little sense or doesn’t smell right, it probably isn’t.
  4. What is the purpose of the news you are reading? Is it a story that is propaganda- Propaganda is information, of a biased or misleading nature used to promote a particular political cause or point of view? We are entering the season where we will see a lot of these kinds of messages- political ads, flyers, mailings, etc. That is written to persuade us to one position or one candidate. My view is we can ignore mailing that fall into the Fake News category.
  5. Look for words that exaggerate. Words that exaggerate a claim like “all, everything entire, magnify,” overplay what they accomplished, misquote, etc. These words provide a clue to the truthfulness of what you are reading.

Be aware. Think for yourself. Decide after careful thought. Know your sources.

Yet, being loud doesn’t increase the value or validity of their opinion. In fact, often by the very nature of being the loudest, those opinions are typically the furthest from reality. Mark Homer, Uncommon sense 

There’s an old saying that if a lie is told often enough, it becomes the truth. Actually, it doesn’t. What happens is that people simply start believing that it’s true. Bailey Jackson, How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others https://www.enlightenedproductiveyou.com/what-is-your-opinion/