Internet Fact-Checking Basis for Students

In 2016 the Oxford dictionary editors recognized the neologism “post-truth” to be the word of the year. This is how people describe the situation when appellation to emotions and personal convictions becomes the main factor to form public opinion, and facts are neglected. Fakes got spread on the Internet long ago, but discussing them has become a mainstream topic only in recent times. Fakes fear everyone, but not many people really know how to resist their influence.

Student Checking Facts

In this article, we are going to mention simple methods of checking the information published on the web. Our writers find this skill very useful for students who need to complete academic writing projects based on online data.

So, here is how you avoid being cheated.

  • 1. Check the Source

    If you see a piece of news that has no source reference link: that is a possible candidate for a fake. A high-quality resource will always publish the information about the source of their data: an official website or account, other media resource, correspondents who took photos or recorded videos on the scene.

    Here are some more features of fake information:

    • If a new or not famous website/account serves as a source: it is most probably created with the purpose to disinform users;
    • If the link goes to a website and not to a certain page, this seems to be an effort to blur your eyes too;
    • If news-aggregating website is indicated as a news source, it is a cheat. Such websites just collect information from other resources.

    Remember you need to find solid confirmations for any published piece of information: links to reputable media or officials, photos or videos. It is better for you to check the availability of some sources which do not depend on each other.

  • 2. Pay Attention to Photos

    Fake creators love photo montage. It is quite a simple and cheap tool, so it is often used.

    You should review a photo attentively. Journalists who are not worth trusting often fail to keep up with details like weather, landscape, day time, and so on. The same aspects can be considered for video checking.

    A good tool to check photos is the Google image search. You can find out that the photo you see was used earlier. Compare dates to check the date when the photo appeared on the Web for the first time and the data of a news publication.

    When checking facts through other sources, look at photos from different angles, compare details. If they use only one photo, that is a suspicious sign.

  • 3. Don’t Believe Titles

    Many people read news only by titles. That is the effect of the informational age when there is an immense flow of data attacking our minds. We just fail to process it all in time. Bad media often use this and distort the meaning of a title compared to the contents of the article itself. So, read the contents in order to avoid getting cheated with this trick.

  • 4. Know the Opinion of the Other Side

    It seems obvious that everyone tries to introduce themselves from the best side. Consequently, you need to take all data into account in order to get objective information. Nevertheless, people often choose only one side. That is how their brain functions. You need to overcome that and to study contrary opinions.

  • 5. Check Quotes

    Abraham Lincoln once said: “The main problem of Internet quotes is that people believe them to be true.” What? How could he say that if he had been born more than a century before the Internet appeared? If I had written that in my research paper on cyber security, my advisor would have hated me forever.

    Well, you can easily expose this fake. Nevertheless, there can be situations when quotes are not that obvious to be false. Sometimes it is enough to change some words or choose some phrases in context, and the message gets distorted completely. So, you should at least google such sayings to check if they are real.

  • 6. Don’t Believe Screenshots

    This is used very often, especially in social media posts: they show screenshots as evidence for something. But it is not difficult to fake such a screenshot: any Internet user can do that in a couple of minutes. And they don’t need anything but a browser to do that. So, screenshots can’t be evidence in the modern world.

    Screenshot Check
  • 7. Be Careful About Stories of Participants

    Do you remember any event you organized? I think you’ll agree that every participant had his or her subjective opinion about it, which can be quite far from reality. But people like interviews with witnesses very much, and they trust their stories without any doubt.

    To get a maximally objective opinion, try to find comments of as many participants as you can. It is possible for you to contact them on your own: that is very easy in the epoch of social media.

These simple basic tricks will help you check facts and find real information successfully. And the truthful picture of the world around supports your successful activities and prevents you from making many mistakes.

In addition, fact-checking is not only a useful skill but an excellent instrument for you to develop critical thinking. That is a very helpful ability for every modern student.

Our team cares a lot about the credibility of sources we use for writing essay samples. That is why you can be absolutely sure that the facts and figures cited in your papers from are 100% valid.

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