Fake news about Coronavirus: 10 tips to avoid
Disinformation and fake news about coronavirus help make the COVID-19 threat even more dangerous. At this point it is a good idea to avoid listening to information sent in WhatsApp groups. The same goes for direct messages from a relative or friend.
False information can cause you to take irresponsible actions and end up putting yourself at risk. When we talk about coronavirus, it also means putting family members and those around you at risk as well.
Therefore, it is important to take some precautions when looking for information on sites about coronavirus.
To help you with this task, we have put together some tips to avoid fake news about coronavirus. Check it out below and learn how to search for information from legitimate sources!
1. Search the news website
It is important to see details of the website where you are reading a news about the coronavirus.
There are many websites and blogs that carry fake news, whether with the aim of panicking people or convincing them of something that doesn't exist to deliver a scam, for example.
Some evidence that a site shares fake news is its amateurish appearance, especially if you've never heard of it before. Also check if the author of the text is present on social networks and whether what he publishes matches the profession of a specialized blogger or journalist.
2. Be wary of grammatical errors too much
We all made mistakes at one time or another. You may even have found a grammatical error yourself in this article. But the difference between professionals and amateurs is how often these errors appear.
Sites that distribute fake news about coronavirus or any other topic are usually written by amateurs. After all, the purpose of the text is just to spread across messaging apps to cause panic or achieve some shady goal.
So if you're reading an article about COVID-19 and you're wondering how many grammatical errors are there, it's probably because it's on a fake news page.
3. Give preference to credible portals
This is a critical moment in human history. We can say that the coronavirus pandemic is a novelty both for those who are 10 years old and for those who are 90.
It is not the time to venture into unknown sites and blogs. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor portals and professionals with credibility, in addition to official vehicles such as those of the Ministry of Health.
Check out some trusted YouTube channels for access to better information on coronavirus.
4. Read the full article
It is common for fake news sites to publish stories with wild or scandalous headlines. Often, what is said in the article does not match the sense of urgency invoked in the title.
By reading the article thoroughly, you can find out if the site is reliable and if its content is amateurish. In this way, you will be beating up false news and preventing panic from being shared.
5. Check the news source
Every news has a source. It may be an official source of the government or the institution covered in the matter. The source can also be another vehicle of communication and that is where the danger lies.
If this is the case, make sure to follow the link to verify that what is being said in the article is in accordance with what was said at the source of the news. It is also important to check whether the source's website is reliable or suspicious.
6. Search the news on the internet
Did you find the article too controversial or is the news too unbelievable? Try to get it on Google. If the search results point to reliable and credible sites, the news is likely to be true. Still, visit the article on these portals to see if what was said is similar to what you saw originally.
If the research only points to sites you have never heard of, then it is possible that you have just read a fake news about coronavirus. You can learn how to report them by visiting this article.
Tip: Another strategy they use when spreading false news is to propagate a past event as if it were now, changing the context to cause indignation or panic.
7. Look at the article URL
The URL is the website address, which is shown at the top of your browser. A tactic made by scammers and fake news sites is to replicate the way a legitimate site looks.
That is, you may end up seeing a false news thinking that it is from G1 or Folha de São Paulo. In fact, the news was published by a website that is an imitation, designed to deceive the most inattentive.
One way to avoid being scammed by sites that look like clones is to look at the URL. At some point, the website address ends up delivering what is fake.
8. Check out other pages on the site
Not all fake news is sloppy. Some seem legitimate and difficult to uncover. If you suspect it is fake and you have not been able to verify it by looking at the URL or due to flaws in the article itself, see other articles on the same site and try to find a pattern.
Fake coronavirus news sites often use over-hyped sensational headlines. These titles are accompanied by shallow and error-filled content.
After all, the goal is not for the reader to stay on the site, but to share the materials as quickly as he can in his messenger apps.
9. Analyze the relationship between the title and the article
One more detail that can escape us when we compare ourselves with news that is hard to believe is the relationship of the title and the complete content.
As the effort to create an impactful title is much more than the one used to produce the content, it is common to see that the article itself may contradict what was said in the call. When it doesn't, it is also common to over-detail.
That is, they take only one aspect of the text and make it much larger than it really is, with the intention of causing shock and fear.
10. Don't believe messages forwarded
If you have not yet received any links, videos or audio sent talking about the coronavirus situation in the country, you can consider yourself successful.
If you are an ordinary person and have already received them, the advice is simple: do not listen to them and, whenever possible, try to alert who sent you.
Coronavirus Fake News: Clear them!
Want to know more about COVID-19, but still not sure where to look without receiving fake news? So stay with us for a few more minutes and see some of the best Instagram profiles on coronavirus and some tips for cleaning your smartphone or notebook.
As of now, check out some simple recommendations to combat COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently, especially as soon as you get home;
- Do not frequent places clusters;
- Avoid leaving the house in general, only in unavoidable situations;
- Sanitize frequently used devices, such as your smartphone;
- Do not buy masks if you are not showing symptoms. These resources are limited;
- Do not panic. The situation is alert and it is important to pay attention, but panic does not help anyone. 🙂
To end in a lighter tone and help you pass the time during quarantine, also see our nominations for best apps for watching movies and series!