Fake news and the 5Ws

Before you share information online consider the 5Ws by doing so we can eradicate fake news from our society. Fake news can be misleading as well as damage the reputation of an individual or entity. Although fake news is usually spread on social media.

The term “Fake News” does not have any standard definition. It applies liberally to any false information given out to the general public with the ettle of damaging one’s reputation or an entity. But through the use of the journalism term called the 5Ws we can curb the spread of fake news.

  1. Who: Considering the person that made the story is very paramount and important, knowing the person spreading the information is also crucial. Does the person spreading the information on his social media handle have a good track record for accuracy? Knowing all this will make you trust the content you read online and this can help in tackling the spread of fake news because if your followers know you share fake news on your wall then, definitely you’ll lose them.

2.What: what is the source of the information? Does the person spreading the information have a genuine source? Knowing this is important. Attribution of a news report is paramount I.e. knowing the source of an information you read online can make you distinguish between fake news and real information. Also, knowing the kind of content you read online is crucial and can help in reducing the spread of fake news.

3.Where: Knowing where the information comes from is important. I.e. considering where the information comes from can help in reducing the level of fake news online because knowing the accurate place where an information comes from is important to distinguish fake from real news.

  1. Why: Why am I sharing this? Knowing the reason you share information you saw online can help in reducing the level of fake news online. First, ask yourself why is this information being spread around? Is the information worthy? Be specifically wary of information you believe online and know why it’s being spread. Some fake news sources target you with stories they think you’ll hope are true to get you to click and spread them. So be wary of such information.

5.When: When was it published? Knowing the accurate date of a publication can help you know wether the information you shared online is correct or it’s a fake news. Knowing how to distinguish between stale news and current news is important. When did this information I am seeing start spreading?

With this snippet perception above we can tackle the spread of fake news and false information.

Muhammad Umar Shehu,
Sokoto, Sokoto state
[email protected] 08035794769

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