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Six ways to spot fake news

Six ways to spot fake news

Dispatcher Files Develop a critical mind set – as good as a story might be it does not mean it is true even if it sounds believable. Most fake news is written to scare or shock you. Keep your emotional responses in check, and approach what you see and hear rationally and critically.  Check the

Dispatcher Files

  1. Develop a critical mind set – as good as a story might be it does not mean it is true even if it sounds believable. Most fake news is written to scare or shock you. Keep your emotional responses in check, and approach what you see and hear rationally and critically. 
  2. Check the source – Check the web address for the page you’re reading. Spelling errors in company names, or strange-sounding extensions like “.infonet” and “.offer,” rather than “.com” or “.co.za” may mean that the source is suspect, whether or not the author or publisher is familiar. Stop to consider their reputation and professional experience. 
  3. See who else Is reporting the story – Some professional global news agencies have rigorous editorial guidelines and extensive networks of highly trained reporters, but no one is unbiased, and anyone can make a mistake. 
  4. Examine the evidence – A credible news story will include plenty of facts – quotes from experts, survey data and official statistics, for example; or detailed, consistent, and corroborated eye-witness accounts from people on the scene. If these are missing, question it. 
  5. Don’t take images at face value – Modern editing software has made it easy for people to create fake images that look real. In fact, research shows that only half of us can tell when images are fake. However, there are some warning signs you can look out for. 
  6. Check that it “sounds right” – use your common sense! Bear in mind that fake news is designed to “feed” your biases, hopes or fears.

ERPC Dispatcher: Mdu (SA21)
TrackBox ERPC National & International
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*Dispatcher files are reports detailing the experience of the dispatcher as they deal with emergencies and so are recorded after the fact.

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