Differentiate between fake and real news

Fake news still has innocent social media users trapped in its web. This was confirmed once again when pictures of an explosion went viral on social media following today’s power outage in Durban.

The pictures which show black smoke plummeting out of a supposed sub-station has been popping up on social media timelines including Twitter and Facebook. But it was quickly dispelled by sharp-eyed Facebookers who identified the picture from an old post from 2011 which was used with an article about Japan’s economic impact of an earthquake and tsunami.

But why are we so drawn to believe fake news and are instantly eager to share?

According a CNN article,  internet and technology expert, David Weinberger, people are trained to believe.

1.People sometimes trip over one sticky notion: if it’s on the internet, it must be true. “We’ve all been trained to assume that what we see published must have gone through some set of filters and authentication,” says David Weinberger

2. It fulfills a confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the idea that we’re more likely to consume and share information that fits with our already-held beliefs.

3. They just want to be part of the conversation:  When you find a new or fascinating piece of information, “it’s a sense that you are helping your community or your network make sense of the event,” he continues.
Read the rest of the article on: edition.cnn.com
WATCH: How real is fake news?

  AUTHOR
Lauren Beukes
Journalist

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