The pictures and videos that go viral on YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are usually ones that shock, outrage or create a sense of belonging. This is the reason many influencers post fake content, from scandalous revelations and psychic phenomena to wild conspiracy theories and murky rumours.
Today, pictures and videos can be processed to look so real that we often don’t realise they’re fake. The people who create these fakes enjoy their internet popularity and fooling millions of trusting followers. Some even deliberately sow hatred, conflict and confusion.
Working out what is fake is sometimes difficult on your own. This is because on the internet you can find theories for everything; even theories that claim to prove such complete nonsense as the earth being flat.
Can we trust anyone anymore? Generally speaking, stories that are broadcast on television and radio, and published in newspapers are genuine, because they are fact-checked before they are made available to the public. School textbooks and scientific journals are other good sources. Teachers and parents also often know whether a story is true or not.
- Not everything you see on the internet is true. Check what you read using trustworthy sources.
- Check information that is given to you by others and talk to a trusted person about it if you are unsure. This will prevent you from unwittingly spreading false information.