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How to spot fake news
How to spot fake news

CNN reporter Christian Amanpour discussed fake news in a TED interview and why it is so important to learn to distinguish real from fabricated.

How to spot fake news
How to spot fake news

What is fake news

The climate change debate is a good example. 99, 9% of the data on this phenomenon is confirmed by science, but they are still discussed almost on an equal footing with the statements of those who deny climate change. The concept of fake news has only taken shape in the last few years. And this is not just a loud term that can be scattered left and right. When we cannot distinguish between truth and fiction, we cannot resolve the accumulated problems. And this is really alarming.

There are situations in which it is simply impossible to maintain neutrality, otherwise you become an accomplice. And for journalists, objectivity is especially important. But not everyone understands what objectivity is. Many take for an objective assessment the conviction that all parties to the conflict are equally guilty. In fact, to be objective means to let all parties speak and listen to them equally impartially, but not to recognize them morally or in fact as equal.

If, in a situation of gross violation of international laws and human rights, we do not understand what is true and what is fiction, then we become accomplices.

Why are they dangerous

When the Internet first began to develop, it seemed to everyone that it would significantly increase access to knowledge and help fight prejudices that an increase in information channels would ensure transparency and accuracy of data. In fact, according to Amanpour, the opposite happened. With the emergence of a huge number of news platforms and social networks, people found themselves isolated in their own "tunnel". They focus only on a narrow area of their interests and do not see the big picture.

In the traditional media, certain norms were still observed. The stories were checked for reliability, the dubious ones were not published. But now the goal of publishing and distributing news is often only to grab the attention of readers. Naturally, as never before, a lot of unreliable information appears. For example, during the US presidential election, fake news sites were purposefully created to influence public opinion.

How to protect yourself

  • Be careful about the sources of information.
  • Responsibly approach what news you read, listen to and watch.
  • No matter how many sources of information you browse, always rely on a few trusted publications first and foremost.

Today our problems are so great that if we do not all act together as citizens of the world who value the truth and are guided by scientific data and facts, then we will simply come to disaster.

Christian Amanpour

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