Social Etiquette

April 5, 2020

Handling Fake News News! News! Breaking News!

Fake news: Experts call for promotion of media literacy

Everywhere you turn you are bombarded with so much news about the current pandemic COVID -19 Corona Virus, the good, the bad and the ugly, the authentic and the fake all congesting the airwaves. The covers of paper as well as TV visuals. It is amazing how information overload has just taken over. Well, it is not surprising given the news today is centered health, life, and loved ones. The various economies worldwide have seriously been stormed by this huge pandemic a global catastrophe.

Yes, you turn on the TV or the radio all you hear is negative and bad news from the magnitude of the spread to the overwhelming increasing numbers and sadly to the increase in the number of lives lost to the deadly virus. All this has become so overbearing that you need to be strong to be able to handle the news.

Sources for receiving news are now so vast, from family, friends, colleagues and now the fast-paced social media. With new technology, you can hardly miss the information when it drops.

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It is the social media and platforms like WhatsApp that is ensuring that all news plus fake news is spreading so wildly. It is now a given that fake news with its nature of being hot gossip, juicy, attention-seeking and a call to action forming content for conversation is the key to selling media on all platforms.

Identifying Fake News

It is interesting to witness some people suddenly embarking on the task of spreading instant news now fake news on a constant basis.

What you see overnight is the rush for fake news to be automatically and spontaneously forwarded, at times it appears that those who send do not take the time to read such messages before passing on regardless of whether the information is relevant to true or falsified.

Fake news does appear as the truth until proven otherwise. The onus is on the bearer of the news at most those journalists soliciting for information to verify their facts before spreading contagious news.

It is easier to tell fake news at times by checking if certain more reliable sources are carrying such news too. Fake news will spread like an epidemic, but the best approach is to receive as new knowledge as it is your responsibility to keep abreast of what is going on around you especially during crisis times like now.

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Impact of Fake News

Everybody handles information differently, some may resolve to panic while others may come across confused, scared and worried. Fake news once hot, heady and juicy inflicts an action. It generates gossip and the desire for more people to hear.

Unfortunately, as we battle the current pandemic the need to halt all forms of news spreading is so important. Just hearing the negativity of the news is creating heightened anxiety, fear, stress, depression, confusion, hypertension and much more among many.

Ways to Handle Fake News

These are a few ways to handle all the news that is flying around and maintain a positive mindset.

Receive News as Information

It is important to recognize how you receive information and what you do with it. Relevant information is best received as new knowledge with minimal bias or judgment. The authentic source is very important this gives you an element of reassurance as more information and data mounts daily.

Don’t Forward, Don’t Share

It is not compulsory received news must be spread especially when that news is now considered information overload, or it is a forwarded message with the potential of being forwarded by others.

If the news is negative and disturbing, you may relieve yourself by deleting. If you hear negative news or potential fake news avoid repeating or spreading just to avoid adding to the existing epidemic.

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Avoid Negative Conversations

Fake news will always create content for conversation, in the same light when the news is negative people want to talk about and spread faster.

Listening to hearsay is what creates the distresses that need to be managed. It is easier to walk away when the energy in the air is toxic. Relate more to those who calm you down rather than mount pressure on you.

Engage with Important News

Not all news is fake, you have the responsibility to sift what is important to you. Use new information to keep updated and to follow strict guidelines. Use reliable sources of news to manage crisis times.

Spread Positivity

Time waits for no one, what are you productively doing with your time. If you must spread any news because you cannot help it, then let the news be educational, engaging, uplifting and empowering, encouraging and worth it.

Make up your mind as you intend to spend your time now that you are at home. Move away from time wasters and embrace anything that will develop you positively.

Wishing you the best during these trying times. Watch out for yourself and all your loved ones.