Whether you’re looking at a website, photo, video or news story, what really matters is whether or not the people who originally created it are trustworthy. Even when it has been shared with you by someone you trust, like a friend or family member, you can’t know if they checked the facts. So it’s up to you!
This step may sometimes be the last one you do, but it could also be the first. The News tab is better than the main Google search for this step because it only shows real news sources. While not every source that’s included is perfectly reliable, they are all news outlets that really exist.
Here are three ways to respond to false info online:
1. Ask a question
If the false info is coming from a friend or a family member, or you’re worried that your reply might help spread the false info, you can just ask a question like “Are you sure that’s true?” or “Is that source reliable?”.
That nudges them to think more about whether what they’re sharing is true, and shows other people that you don’t agree with the bad info.
Research has found this works almost as well as correcting or debunking false information!
Ask yourself three questions:
1. What do I already think or believe about this?
We pay attention to things that fit with what we already think is true. That’s not always a bad thing: science, medicine and other subjects all have a consensus: what experts believe is most likely true, based on all the evidence that’s been found so far.
Here are four quick and easy steps to find out the truth and share good information. Sometimes you only have to do one of these things, and most steps take less than a minute.
Using Fact-Checking Tools
Sometimes a single search can break the fake, if a professional fact-checker like Snopes has already done the work for you.