What are the signs of false news

Who is spreading a dubious report?

Ask yourself who is spreading the message. Can you find out who is behind a Facebook page or a Twitter account? Is the website known? Does she have a imprint in which the responsible persons and addresses are listed?

Sometimes the "about us“-Area of ​​a website that spreads satire, or fictitious stories. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at unknown websites.

But friends or relatives can also send you false reports, for example via WhatsApp and Co. Most of the time you are more likely to believe these than other reports on the Internet because you grant your acquaintances a leap of faith. If a message is new, exciting, disturbing or seems unbelievable, you can ask your acquaintances for a source or do your own research. Often a quick Google search is enough to provide clarity.

What's written in the text?

False reports can be hidden on fake websites that, when previewed, look like they are real. For example, there are websites where you can make up “messages” yourself.

In addition, the titles of stories are often pointed, sometimes simply wrong. Then there is something else in the text than the title suggests. Many people share articles without reading them beforehand, simply because the title is promising.

A look at the text can also give various clues as to whether it is possibly disinformation. Are there any misspellings in the text? Does the page have a messy layout? Does he make claims without naming sources? Does the text create a completely coherent picture or does it provide overly simple explanations for complicated events? Is the language sober or sensational and dubious?

Of course, none of these aspects mean that a text is automatically wrong or made up. However, they can be a guide to research further before believing a report.

Can the story be verified?

Does a report or contribution identify the sources from which the information was obtained? Is there Left sources with which you can check the story for yourself?

If not, you can search for sources yourself. Important messages are usually published by many media at the same time. Fact check organizations such as CORRECTIV.Faktencheck publish articles on current rumors. For major events and emergencies, follow official reports from the authorities.

Since pictures can be easily falsified, be it by Photoshop or a wrong caption, pictures should also be checked. It's easy with the Reverse search for images. To do this, you upload an image or the URL of an image to search engines such as Google, Yandex or Bing and the result shows where the images appeared before. This way you can quickly find out whether a photo is being shared in the wrong context or has been manipulated.

One type of hoax that we see a lot are fabrications Politician Quotes. They can be easily verified by entering the alleged quote into a search engine. If quotations are distributed without indication of the source, place or date, it is worth checking.

Pay attention to your feelings

False reports often aim to arouse feelings of anger or fear, because this way more people interact with the report - click on it, comment on it or share it. Clicks often mean money, so they are one of the motivations for spreading hoaxes.

If you observe strong emotional reactions to a report, you can go through the steps listed to make sure you recognize false reports as such.