False Information or Fake News on WhatsApp have claimed lives of more than 25 people all over the country. Mob lynchings over fake messages about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators have become a new norm in the country that is already communalised.
In a fight against false information, WhatsApp has given 10 easy tips to help you decide whether something forwarded to you is indeed true.
1. WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature that lets you see which message has been forwarded.
2. Think twice before sharing a message that makes you angry or afraid because it might have been sent to you to make you feel that way.
3. Stories that are unbelievable are often untrue so check elsewhere to see if they are really true.
4. Fake news or hoaxes often contain spelling mistakes. Look at these signs to check if the information is accurate.
5. Photos and videos are often edited to mislead you. Sometimes the photo is real but the story around is not, so look online where the photo is from.
6. The links given in these messages appear to be of well known websites but there are spelling mistakes or unusual characters, it’s usually a sign of ‘something fishy’.
7. Look at other news websites or apps to confirm the story. When a story is reported at multiple places it is most likely to be true.
8. If you are not sure of the source and concerned the information maybe untrue, think twice before sharing.
9. Block any number or leave any group that spreads fake information.
10. Just because a message is shared multiple times does not make it true. Remember, fake news goes viral.
Amidst the insane ‘fake news’ generated daily, there are some saviours like AltNews, SM Hoax Slayer, Check4spam, BOOM FactCheck are trying to fight the menace of fake news in India.