Before, during, and even after the election period in the country, numerous false reports have spread about the presidential (and even vice presidential) candidates.
We all know that mudslinging has always been common in politics but these days, social media has become the stage for it. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising to see some fake news stories circulating online.
Perhaps you have seen some of your Facebook friends share these hoax articles or, at times, you may have even shared some of them yourself.
For example, one satire website reported that vice presidential aspirant Leni Robredo said that if she were elected Vice President of Rodrigo Duterte, she will “immediately resign from (her) post.” Robredo herself has refuted this hoax in a several interviews but still, many gullible online readers reacted negatively and the satirical content even got thousands of shares on social media.
Satire sites aside (since they’re only doing their thing for humor purposes), there are other online sources out there that really intend to spread lies and black propaganda. As a responsible netizen, you don’t want to be their tool in passing false information around.
So here are three ways you can guard yourself and those you love from fake online content:
#1. Think before you share.
First things first, try not to over-react when you read sensational headlines or articles on the web. Before hitting the share button and posting an angry comment, check the website if it is credible in the first place. Is it a satirical site? Or perhaps just a blog filled with posts not citing legitimate resources whatsoever?
If you are doubtful, then do yourself – and your friends – a favor and don’t share the link.
#2. Do your homework.
Of course, you can always confirm whether stories you read online are true or false. Go do some quick research on Google and if you see the similar articles posted by major news websites, it’s highly likely that the information is correct. Also, make it a point to read and compare the details.
#3. Warn others.
Now that you’ve verified whether a story is correct or misleading, try to warn others about it.
If you see a friend posting a malicious article, feel free to tell him or her about it but as always, try not to be argumentative. Just leave a friendly comment on the post or, better yet, send a private message. This way, you can correct the error without embarrassing your friend.
As Will Rogers, an American actor, author, and humorist, once said, rumor indeed “travels faster” so make it a habit to be vigilant as you use the web.