How to Spot Fake Health News

Today’s technology allows us to read, watch, or listen to information anytime and anywhere. In recent years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, fake health news has been very rampant. The most viral health misinformation are on the topics of cancer, unproven cures, and vaccines which is why being critical of online posts is important. In this post, we will talk about how you can better identify false information

Fake news might look like real news, but if you dig a little deeper you can avoid being fooled. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the source? Look at the story then click off to explore the mission of the website/organization and contact information. Check if the web address looks correct.
  • Does the headline represent the story? Read beyond the headlines as they’re supposed to capture attention and not always tell the whole story.
  • Is it a joke/satire? Make sure it is real and serious. Check the website and author’s credibility and intentions.
  • Who is the author? Do a quick online check of the author. Are they real and credible?
  • When was the story published? Check the date of the story. Old news may not be relevant to current events.
  • What are the supporting sources? Find the story’s evidence and click on the links to see if they are peer-reviewed and published in a reputable source. The bigger the claim, the more evidence you need to see.
  • Am I being influenced by bias? Check your own biases to see if your beliefs are affecting your judgment. See if the article informs you of all sides of the topic.
  • Does it play with my emotions? People overlook logic when confronted with an emotional issue. Bear in mind that fake news is designed to feed your biases, hopes, or fears.
  • What do others say/think? Read the comments. Likes and shares are not an indicator of truth. If still in doubt, ask the librarian or health experts.
  • What now? Report fake news and let others know.

In our fight against the dangerous practice of fake health news, it’s important that we protect ourselves. It is also important that we inform as many people as we possibly can. This is one way to ensure a safer and healthier world for generations to come. Hope we helped Take care, PODS Health Team

Take care,

PODS Health Team

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