Defense Against #FakeNews: Three Simple Rules to Follow 

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NEWS, SARAH TORRES
Defense Against #FakeNews: Three Simple Rules to Follow  on JULY 21, 2017

In any information we encounter, it is important to exercise media literacy. It is a tool of analysis we need in order to protect our online space and in order to preserve our freedom of speech and of expression.

Media literacy protects us from questionable and fake media content. It allows us to not be fooled so we can make informed and rational decisions.

STAY SMART AND EXERCISE MEDIA LITERACY WHEN DEALING WITH ANY MEDIA CONTENT:

1. Identify Anonymous Sources

In journalism, some sources who hold confidential information have the right to remain anonymous. But it puts the writer in question how he or she obtained data. As a reader, you have no choice but to research if such data are available in other news sites. The writer’s claims may technically be incorrect if the sources are not factual. Moreover, readers must not trust the news with anonymous sources automatically and should wait for follow up reports.

2. Confirm Unverified Content

This is the lamest excuse for poor writing. Journalists usually go through a stringent verification process to make sure that their reports are factual and accurate. When you encounter suspicious content anywhere online, embrace your curiosity and research more about it. Do not share unverified reports before finding out more about it. If it really turns out to be untrue, call out the writer or the organization propagating it.

3. Double-check False Information

Many say that this generation is already in the “post-truth era” because there are a lot of truths available. Truth is relative from person to person because according to some, there are many versions of it. But false information is and will always be false information. Detect false information by comparing it to sources of various news sites and by fact-checking its origin.

In this day and age, producing and consuming content on social media are not limited to the self anymore. It is only ethical that we become media literate users of it. This is how democracy flows and survives. It allows us to be free from certain restrictions but it also gives us the responsibility to be accountable of our actions.

Fake news can kill freedom of speech — know how.

Fake news can even shorten your life — learn why.

Being literate in using media is really needed especially we are in Digital World and so many people who uses media. It is needed in order for us to not easily get fooled with the fake news or information that we get. Media literacy is important especially for the sake of our security also. It helps us to access, analyze, evaluate information and create media in different variety of form. Having the knowledge in media literacy we would not be the victim of people who have a bad intention towards us.

Having a media literate society is the essence of having a democratic society and a market-based economy. It is the essence of having the ability to both enhance and protect our precious freedoms. It presumes that we, the people, are smart and capable and responsible. It reinforces that expectation that, if we are responsible, others should exercise responsibility, as well.

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