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How to curb fake news during electioneering period

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Fake news, often manipulated to resemble real time information has a thin line from which one can differentiate, posing risk to those receiving it.

Facts such as the wide spread irresponsible of sharing content, illiteracy among the subject group and the preference of the new social media platforms available to the traditional methods of receiving news more tends to accelerate fake news. This is because an individual will depend on other users for verification forgetting what’s popular isn’t always correct.The fake news spreads because they target a certain ideology/belief which is quick to act on.

Ignorance on the audiences’ side makes the fight against fake news items slows the process as many people act on the information received without taking to verify the facts and credibility of the information. Another question maybe posed as to how deep are they exposed in relation to matters political?

Fake news during an electioneering period may stem out due to rivalry between two parties but may end up fueling un-scalable damage irrespective of which side instigated it.  In the dawn of quality affordable technology, fake news becomes easy to fabricate. Through bogus websites, blogs, stage managed pictures and video recordings favor gets to be tilted towards one candidate, with some “media” centers solely established for this kind of purpose. The audience buys into a lie that forms a chain reaction and if it gets the right boost, it achieves its purpose.

Fake news may cause problems such as selling substandard information as true, edging out quality leader; it becomes hard to distinguish between fake and factual news and people collecting revenue per click made on the fake news website who haven’t gauged the impact of such information which is to be read by different audiences.

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The first step to stop the spread starts with an individual. Sharing responsibly should be emphasized. Only post stories you’ve put in effort of verifying or from sources you know to be credible. Some stories are designed to make you angry which is something you should refrain from. Avoid spreading the hate, influence the content to be shared.

Fake news tends to align with the targeted audiences’ emotions i.e. sympathizes with them. Take an effort of familiarizing yourself with the truth as not to be swayed by any information that’s targeted at you. Media literacy paired with caution is key in assessing news especially now that there’s awareness of such.

Be updated.  Keeping in touch with the current trends more so concerning the elections makes it easier to decipher and point out fake news. Don’t be dependent on social media news for your news feed. Cross check them against traditional media because they are accountable for what they publish. Something social media lacks.

Fake news sources are quick to adapt into new rules and efforts meant to keep them out hence the audience should always have to put in legwork to have the upper hand in stopping them.

You can also stop the spread by checking out particular items we dismiss but may help us in identifying authenticity: how familiar are the sources, reading the information keenly, use multiple search engines on the site of the news information and checking the contact and about us page.

 

 

 

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About the author

2019 Most Influential Young Kenyans according to Avance Media, Digital Media Trainer, Content Creator, Brand Strategist, Social Media consultant for businesses and events. Cell: 0705 921 599 | danielmaithya@gmail.com

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