The hoaxes today are commonly spread through social media sites. If we spread hoaxes, we’re wasting our friends’ time, causing fear and anxiety in others, could be tools used for fraud and financial crimes and could provoke them who believe, to take unnecessary actions and many other consequences.
How do we recognize hoaxes?
- A hoax wants attention and wants us to do something, usually to forward its message to everyone we know.
- If the first thing a hoax declares that it’s not a hoax, then we should already doubt it.
- It has been shared or forwarded several times
How can we confirm a hoax?
- The story really has nothing to do with the headline
- Check the author, the publish date and time
- Check for detail quotes and photos in terms of their originality
- Check if other news or sites reporting it
- There are several legit websites are dedicated to debunking hoaxes. Such as snopes.com, thoughtco.com, truthorfiction.com, Sophos.com, hoax-slayer.com, symantec.com, etc. Moreover, a quick Google search should give us plenty of other references to check if a viral story is real.
What should we do when we find a hoax?
- Think before we share
- Verify the source, content, pictures and videos of a story before we decide to share.
- Break the chain to stop spreading the hoax further.