As the use of technology increases, its negative effects start showing up as well. Forwarding fake messages is one of the major problems of having a fast-widespread internet and a widely used social media application. In the last recent years, WhatsApp and Facebook have managed to make its way into the smartphones used by not just teenagers and youngsters, but also adults and elderly people. People who hardly know how exactly it works or what is the purpose of having these social apps. This has led them to believe everything they see on social media. Since it is new for them, they just believe every news or advertisement to be true and just follow with maybe innocent intentions but they end up becoming a part in the chain of forwarding fake messages. Not just these adults and youngsters, criminals have managed to create such tricky messaging services that even the educated youngsters fail to see through and forward without confirming.
Messages like deaths of celebrities when they are perfectly healthy, winning a huge lottery but having to forward the message to at least 20 people before receiving it and even some political agendas that are not true or confirmed are some kind of messages that people believe and forward without thinking even once about its authenticity. In recent years, many cases of mob-lynching have come up to the light which had a fake message as the base. Following this WhatsApp and Facebook even took some measures to prevent the forwarding of fake messages. WhatsApp limited the forwarding of any message to a certain limit. They even released some tips to determine the authenticity of the message.
Tips to Prevent the forwarding of fake messages ( By WhatsApp ): –
- Understand when a message is forwarded – Messages with the “Forwarded” label help you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message or if it originally came from someone else. When a message is forwarded from one user to another more than five times, it’s indicated with a double arrow icon. If you’re not sure who wrote the original message, double-check the facts. To learn more about forwarding messages, please read these articles.
- Check photos and media carefully – Photos, audio recordings, and videos can be edited to mislead you. Look at trusted news sources to see if the story is being reported elsewhere. When a story is reported in multiple places, it’s more likely to be true.
- Look out for messages that look different – Many messages or website links you receive containing hoaxes or fake news have spelling mistakes. Look for these signs so you can check if the information is accurate. To learn more about hoax messages, read this article.
- Check your biases – Watch out for information that confirms your pre-existing beliefs and review the facts before sharing information. Stories that seem hard to believe are often untrue.
- Fake news often goes viral – Even if a message is shared many times, this doesn’t make it true. Don’t forward a message because the sender is urging you to do so. If you see something that’s fake, tell the person that sent it to you and ask them to verify the information before they share it. If a group or contact is constantly sending fake news, report them. To learn how to report a contact or a group, read this article.
- Verify with other sources – If you’re still not sure if a message is true, search online for facts and check trusted news sites to see where the story came from. If you still have doubts, ask fact-checkers or people you trust for more information.