Today, the internet has given us many things to be happy about. Transportation, for example, has been revolutionized because you can accomplish a portion of it online. Business is also much easier because of the numerous advantages that come with eCommerce. Finally, it is now a lot easier to get information. Unfortunately, with this ease of information comes the undeniable problem of fake information.
Now, keep in mind that fake information, in this context, is information that is partly untrue, entirely untrue, or manipulated to pass a different meaning across. These types of information can be very dangerous as they could inspire a chain of actions that could cause even the most peaceful people to revolt. For this reason, you need to learn how to protect yourself from fake information.
How do you do this? Let’s see:
Always check the source
You see, with the internet, virtually anybody on the planet can create a website and begin spreading news. Except in countries with strict internet regulations, all you really need is a phone and internet. Under those circumstances, you can publish whatever you want. While this might be good because it decentralizes the media, it can also be bad because people can spread fake information. So, before believing a piece of information, always check the source.
The National Broadcasting Commission regulates established media houses. Alongside that, established media houses can be sued for billions of naira if they publish false information. Because they have a lot more to lose, established media houses are constantly trying not to publish wrong information. Normal internet users, however, don’t have the same code of conduct. As such, their info isn’t always going to be true. If the source isn’t well-known and well-established, you should take their ideas with a grain of salt.
Conduct your own research
During the Ebola outbreak, there was widespread information that salt can help prevent or cure the disease. A number of people believed it and consumed so much salt that it killed them. While it might sound ridiculous, the truth is that it could have as well been you. To prevent that unfortunate experience, do your own research before believing anything. If someone tells you that 2+2=4, pull out your calculator and see for yourself.
Do not just stop at the headline
We hate to say this, but sometimes, headlines are specifically crafted to deceive the audience. So, when next you see a piece of information or news article, do not just read the headline and conclude. Click on the link and read the full article. It’s the only way for you to get the knowledge you need.
Fake information might seem harmless. But, if you receive, believe, and spread it, it could cause horrors, the likes of which man has never seen. So, before you believe that unbelievable article, check again. It might be fake information.