The increasing use of the Internet day by day means that this endless virtual world is increasingly growing. Nowadays, the increasing interest especially in the social networking web sites and their becoming popular makes the use of the internet more attractive. In these platforms, not only photos and videos are shared, but also information transfer and sharing are made on many subjects such as from arts to politics, from education to science, from sports to personal hobbies. Social sharing platforms are an important means of communicating with other people when they are used consciously, yet, when it comes to "accessing the correct information", we can say that the situation converts into a negative situation.
The main factors affecting reliability among news sources are listed as follows:
The social media, along with its user network and technological infrastructure, can (made as being consciously or unconsciously) cause various social effects such as elucidating, agenda creation, knowledge disinformation and perception management. These social effects can result in many side effects such as social, economic, cultural and so on. Examples of knowledge disinformation and its effects on the internet and social media in our country are shown as follows:
It is difficult to be on the alert all the time, but there are a few red flags, signs, that indicate something can be misleading. The first step is to develop a feeling of conception regarding “when a particular piece of content is too good (or bad) to be true”. If a story gets your attention for any reason, you should examine it deeply. Being heavily influenced by a story should make you want to know more, not less. If the news is correct, you'll learn important details about a topic you care about. If it's wrong or misleading, you can warn other people not to believe the related news.
If a story feels intuitively correct, you should be careful. Disinformation operators, tabloids, and other bad actors distort actual events in a way that they fit popular narratives, assuming (often correctly) that people will be more interested in the news they want to believe. When you share a story with your friends or followers or interact by liking it or commenting on it, you encourage other people to look at this information and strengthen the profile of the entire site or account that posted it. This increases the risk if something is fake or misleading. Therefore, while discussing whether or not a story is suitable for the categories above, you need to be careful before making a big thing of it.
When you decide to look deeper into an online story, you need to understand where and when it came from. Internet news is like a phone game. Whenever someone reposts or rewrites something, there is a possibility that important details might be lost. It is necessary to find the date of the original story. If the story is shared in a Facebook post or a Tweet, click on the post and find its date, also known as timestamp. You should also search for the source of relevant information. Sometimes a news story explicitly cites its sources, by clarifying that the author has done research and interviews at firsthand, or by giving link to a press release or another news source.
Sometimes, it is unclear where the news is coming from. A Twitter account may share a photo with a description that might be wrong. In these cases, you usually need to do a quick search using search engines so as to find more comprehensive and original resources. Large social media platforms often give verification rosettes to large businesses, celebrities, government agencies. (The blue tick in Twitter is a verification sign.) However, unverified accounts may still be genuine, but you should investigate further accordingly. Do other posts of the account match its default identity? Does a business or organization give link to this on their websites?
It's also easy to fake screenshots of a Tweet or Facebook post. If you see one of these screenshots, check the person's profile in order to find the actual post. If it does not exist there, you should consider how reliable the person posting the screenshot is. The post may have been deleted or never happened. Google can be a good tool so as to find other news of a particular event, but searching for the general topic or most famous topic of a story often yields a lot of general, unhelpful search results. It is better to look for unique keywords, such as the name of a non-famous person quoted in the story or his/her being appeared in the articles, or anything else that is unlikely to happen.
3. How is the real source found?
Some online information is clearly fake or misleading. And some of them may also skip important details, or disproportionately remove small controversies, or use legitimate news in order to attract people before feeding them with poor information. The key here is to look for gaps in a story or for discrepancies between the claims of a story and the actual source material. Biased sources can also publish real news, but you should carefully consider the evidence they provide and, if possible, you should check whether or not other news sources also support the news released. Be careful about the stories, which suggest there is a massive cultural movement or political turmoil that is entirely based on people saying something on the internet. If a story is referring to Tweets or Instagram posts in order to prove that something is popular, you should check whether they are coming from accounts with a lot of followers and interactions, or from Tweets of little-known users or not.
4. How is the evidence evaluated?
Some news sources are really more consistently accurate than others. Some expert opinions are more reliable than your own amateur research. If you believe in things that you check only with your own eyes, you will have a world view by incredibly blinking eye. That’s to say, the purpose here is not to determine why a story is wrong. It is about determining how the story works, which parts are complex and subjective, which parts are likely to be correct, and how much they should change your opinion or behavior.
You should evaluate the consequences of believing or ignoring a news against its likelihood that it is true. Buying for a fraud can be financially devastating, so you want very strong (and possibly non-existent) evidence regarding whether a plan to make a quick buck is working or not. Conversely, ignoring an actual forest fire or an epidemic outbreak warning can be fatal.