When you receive messages on WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook…yes, those that are the forward of the forward of the forward... do you believe the content? And most importantly, do you forward that message to more people immediately?
If your answer is yes, we have bad news for you. You are being part of a fraud. The reason: fake news is fabricated news. Fabricated news means: lies, invented histories, false information. They may seem true because its objective is to deceive a person. That fits with the definition of fraud. By not corroborating with an alternative source of information and forwarding the content to other people, you are contributing to the fake news continue to spread, becoming viral and in many cases incite violence.
Many people think that fake news doesn’t have an impact but they do. They have much more impact than you think. People have been harassed on social media…beaten… burned alive…murdered…because someone spread the news that they were kidnappers, human traffickers, criminals. There have been cases in India, Mexico, Colombia, France, Italy that show that the alleged criminals were in fact, innocent people.
If we all want justice and be protected, shouldn’t we first check whether that information is fake news? If the news is true, it’s going to be published on a credible news website (check it out). If it is anonymous, not well written or the resolution of the video or photo is low, it’s very likely that is fake news.
Fake news is not a victimless crime. Fake news is a fraud and we, as individuals, can stop it.