European Union External Action

#EUvsDisinfo: 3 steps to keep your newsfeed clean

13/12/2018 - 11:40
News stories

83 percent of Europeans think fake news is a threat, but few know how to spot them. Here are 3 simple tricks to help you better navigate your newsfeed.

How to keep your newsfeed clean

1. CHECK THE SOURCE

The web empowers us all to speak up and share our views. Yet there are people who exploit this freedom to spread disinformation in the pursuit of profit or political influence. Make sure you are not deceived by sources that want to manipulate, rather than inform you.

  • If there's no ABOUT, you may be about to be deceived. A news or blog site that does not clearly state editorial and legal responsibility is NOT trustworthy.
  • Browser extensions such as NewsGuard rate the reliability of news links on search engines and social media feeds.
  • On Facebook, check the new "Info and Ads" feature which brings more transparency to Pages and the ads they are running. It has loopholes, but it's a start.

Tackling spread of disinformation online
Tackling spread of disinformation online


2. CHECK THE STORY

Real news are usually covered by more than one source. If no trusted media brand is picking up the story, you should be cautious.

  • Have others reported, too? Just run a search on the article's headline.
  • There are independent fact-checkers in your country – have they already debunked the story? Or visit our own website EU vs Disinfo.
  • Does the photo show what it claims to show? Run a reverse image search and find other helpful tools here.


3. CHECK THE INTENTION

Online, we are much more easily targeted with specific information. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the information we receive is genuine. However targeting becomes a problem when it is used to spread lies and hatred, and to destroy trust in democracy. In response to public pressure, social media platforms have introduced some more transparency on WHO is targeting you and HOW.

 

Photo: iStock