Four Ways to Tell if the COVID-19 Article is Fake
by Inside Manila Team, March 19, 2020 9:32am
Art by Dani Elevazo
Whatever news platform we use, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is everywhere. It has penetrated the news cycle and there are new updates on the COVID-19 almost every hour and we can already consume them through social media and messaging apps.
But this fast-paced media feeding sometimes leads us to false and sensationalized information. Since Viber uses end-to-end encryption, it’s impossible for the app to read messages and say whether you’ve received fake news or not. That’s why Viber is giving you some helpful reminders for identifying fake news.
Know the Official Authorities
There are government agencies and organizations battling the virus, and they have firsthand info on developments, confirmed cases, and important advisories. Follow the social media accounts of the Department of Health (DOH) which works with Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Other credible institutions include the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To help spread legitimate updates on the virus, DOH created a Viber Community to disseminate the latest news and information. To follow the group, just search DOH PH COVID-19 on Viber.
Make Sure the Source is Credible and Real Time
Always verify where an article or piece of information comes from. On Viber, you can check out verified news communities for constant updates on COVID-19. Top news organizations like Inquirer, GMA News, and CNN Philippines are all on Viber Communities, and you can follow them to get guaranteed credible stories and announcements as they happen.
Pay Attention to the Quality of Writing
Fake information almost always has bad grammar, and they’re usually written by independent parties with no journalism training. Also, look at what the story is actually reporting. Don’t trust a message about COVID-19 just because it was sent by a friend whose tito works at a hospital. They might mean well, but if it’s not verified, it’s still tsismis.
Don’t Let Emotions Take Over
Ask yourself what the goal of an article is. Is it to induce panic and uncertainty, or to inform? Was it written by a credible reporter? Was it published on a site with a strong track record of reporting? Don’t get caught up in the flurry of stories on your feed or chat.
Be critical and cautious—the information you share on COVID-19 can have a serious impact on your family, friends and communities.
Created based on a press release by Viber.