Like other things, the pros and cons of the digital world do exist. While counting the pros of the digital world is not practically possible, the cons are certainly countable.
Most standout ones also include the swift spread of misinformation. The leading tool to spread misinformation is fake news. Unfortunately, the world is loaded with misinformation these days. People who are considered highly credible are the main culprits. However, familiar netizens also play a role in spreading misinformation.
As soon as they see a piece of news on the web, especially when it is shared by a renowned person carrying the tag of a verified individual, they share it further without any due fact-check.
Often, fake news becomes the reason behind unrest among the masses. They are used as an effective tool to create anger or bias against a particular individual, community, or country, which leads to catastrophic outcomes, including protests and anarchy. Hence, it is essential to verify the news shared online.
Many people still don’t pay attention to fact-checking and keep sharing fake news online. Average netizens will keep on doing that until they are unaware of the importance of fact-checking and verifying news shared online.
This article discusses various reasons why verifying news shared online is important. It will also discuss a few effective ways to do it. Further details are given below.
Reasons that Make Fact-Checking Important
Before we discuss a few practical ways to fact-check and verify the news shared online, it is essential to understand why fact-checking is important.
Hence, we have listed a few standout reasons that will help us understand the importance of fact-checking. Read on to learn more.
Avoids Damage to Trustworthiness and Credibility
There could be instances where you will come across a piece of news shared online that sounds interesting, informational, and valuable, and you end up sharing it. People who come to know the news based on misinformation through you may shape their opinion accordingly.
Moreover, others may also act according to the opinion shaped by it.
However, if the news you share with others is found to be fake, people who shape their opinions accordingly will build your wrong image in their minds. Ultimately, this entire act will damage your trustworthiness and credibility. You may also end up enduring monetary losses.
Hence, fact-checking any online news before sharing it can help you avoid damage to credibility and trustworthiness.
Limits the Spread of Misinformation
The biggest benefit of fact-checking and verifying news shared online is preventing the spread of misinformation. Misinformation can trigger various emotional responses, including fear and anger, which may lead to unrest amongst the masses.
This unrest can create serious trouble on a bigger scale. Sometimes, this unrest becomes so much that it ends up creating havoc.
When people share news without verifying it, people who trust in them also share it further until it becomes a chain reaction. Many people don’t even pay attention to the content written below the headlines, which is often contradictory to the headline given above. Headlines trigger emotional reactions, which forces people to react and share the news further. Hence, verifying news is essential to halt the spread of misinformation.
Effective Ways to Verify News Shared Online
Now that we know that sharing or believing the news posted online can be dangerous, fact-checking them is important. It is time to learn some effective methods to help us halt the spread of misinformation and avoid catastrophic outcomes.
Further details are given below.
Don’t Believe What You See
The first rule of verifying and fact-checking news shared online is never believing in what you see. Sources spreading misinformation take the help of visuals appearing relevant to the shared news but having nothing to do with it. Culprits who want to spread misinformation use pictures to make people believe in the news. Therefore, you must adequately check the prior usage of images on the web and try to understand their context.
Sometimes, images are edited or used with a different context. Therefore, there are better approaches than taking images at face value. Take the help of the reverse image search method to find the truth. Use an efficient image finder capable of displaying results from various platforms and figure out whether the image attached to a piece of news is used in the right context.
Read Beyond Headlines
Whenever you see a news article with a triggering headline, keep your calm and read the entire news article. Many a time, the information published below such a headline is contradictory to what the headline says. Sometimes, the headlines are intended to create substantial shock value that readers are compelled to share further.
Moreover, you have to keep your biases aside while reading a suspicious news article.
Doing so will help you analyze it critically. When you analyze critically and try to find reasons that can make someone articulate such a piece of news, you will automatically limit yourself from sharing it further.
Moreover, doing so will urge you to verify the news from credible sources that are globally renowned for sharing properly researched news.
In the End
The Modern-day digital world is filled with misinformation; it is your responsibility to identify it and stop it from spreading on the web. Otherwise, it may lead to catastrophic outcomes. We have discussed why verifying news shared online is important and some ways to effectively help you do it.
Hopefully, you will have a lot to take away from this article.