Fake news alert

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

The pro­lif­er­a­tion of fake news sites is cause for con­cern. It is an as­sault on the free press and our democ­racy.

It in­fringes on the rights of our peo­ple to have un­fet­tered ac­cess to news and in­for­ma­tion which they use to make key de­ci­sions about their lives.

Re­cently, sev­eral fake tweets em­a­nat­ing from han­dles that are sim­i­lar to news or­gan­i­sa­tions such as The Huff­in­g­ton Post, Talk Ra­dio 702 and the Sun­day Times emerged, clearly on a dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign. If you blinked, you would have be­lieved them. We ap­peal to con­sumers of news and in­for­ma­tion to be care­ful.

Only be­lieve cred­i­ble news and in­for­ma­tion sources. If a story or in­for­ma­tion sounds too good to be true, it is prob­a­bly too good to be true.

Dou­ble check, look out for tell-tale signs that in­clude fonts, sto­ries based on anony­mous sources, and where name­less spokes­peo­ple are quoted. Check the au­thor, and the date (some false sto­ries are dis­tor­tions of real events).

Be alert. Be­ware con­fir­ma­tion bias. And think be­fore you share.

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