Data Detective: Fact Checking For Power Users

Data is not always accurate. Depends on who publish them. It is important to know who publish something in order to think it as valid or real. What do the professionals do? Here is an approach for fast checking for power users!

Fact Checking For Power Users - Research

Photo by Ousa Chea on Unsplash

With fake news articles, bogus blogs, and videos designed to mislead you all floating around, it’s no wonder that a lot of modern internet users find it hard to be comfortable with the information they read.

Never truly being able to tell if something is accurate, it can be hard to trust what you find in front of you.

Of course, though, this is a shame. The Internet is supposed to be a place for everyone to be able to access something simple; data.

Instead, though, it has become a place used to spread falsehood, making it hard for anyone looking to learn or get valuable information.

Learning

While learning is one of the things made hardest by the current state of information on the internet, the first part of your work in overcoming it will have to involve some education.

It will be hard to know where to look to find the information you need, with a need for facts on the mind, forcing a lot of people to give up before they start.

To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the areas you will have to consider, giving you an idea of the work which can be done to improve the quality of your online research. This can be essential for those in education.

The Problems

Before you can start solving an issue, you need to have an understanding of the impact it can have on you, the people around you, and even the world.

There are loads of problems which can come about when information is falsely spread. In recent years, these tactics have been used in several major elections and other political events.

Often being very obvious, it’s amazing that they can have any effect at all. Of course, though, this is exactly why it’s so important to be careful; anyone can be a victim.

Widespread Ignorance

It doesn’t matter when a fake article only gets a couple of hundred views, as most of these people will probably ignore what they’ve read, and those that buy into it won’t have enough power to use it to take action.

In some cases, though, these posts can get millions of views, altering the way that huge groups of people think.

Using social media pages to join victims together, people are kept in contact with others holding similar beliefs.

This is never good when the basis for it is a lie.

Dangerous Learning

Taking a slightly less worrying tone, reading false information online can be very dangerous.

A lot of DIY jobs, for example, are silly to take on if you lack the proper qualifications and training to do them. Not only do you risk hurting yourself, but you could also be risking the quality of the end result.

If you use online resources to teach you, it’s critical that you cross-reference the information you read. Without this sort of backup, a lot could go wrong, even though it is easy to avoid.

Political Influence

Going back to the wider issues this sort of problem can cause, a lot of the recent examples of fake media in motion have been related to politics.

This is far from the start of this trend, with news outlets and other media companies being used to get a leg up in elections for a very long time.

Nowadays, though, this sort of approach can be very targeted, with content being pushed to exactly the right people.

Companies are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved using deceit of this kind.

Of course, though, at the same time, outlets are getting much better at squashing it.

Lowering Media Quality

In the long run, fake newsstands to lower the quality of all of the media you consume, not only the stuff which isn’t true.

This industry is driven by competition. While this means that companies have to work hard to do better than one another, it also means that a bar is set for the quality of work being produced.

If this bar is lowered, the information you consume could be tainted by ignorance, leaving you to rely on things which aren’t pleasant to read or insightful in the way that you want them to be.

Identifying Them

Being able to spot fake news is the first step you will need to take in getting it out of your life. In some cases, this will be very easy, as the articles will be presented very sloppily, and may hold inconsistencies or be simply too unreal to believe.

Below, you can find some examples of the work you can do the notice when something is wrong with the information you’re consuming, enabling you to avoid the trap for yourself in the future.

Along with this, though, it will also be worth doing some further reading to get a wide range of ideas.

Observation

Shocking thumbnails, clickbait titles, and lies can all be very easy to spot. In most cases, a quality article won’t use these sorts of tactics, as they will be able to sell themselves based on their content.

This can make some attempts to spread falsehood very easy to spot, and you just need to keep your eyes peeled when you’re browsing the web.

Cross-Referencing

When you read something which doesn’t sound quite right or is very groundbreaking, it’s always worth checking to see if you can find the same information from a couple of other sources.

This will give you a good idea of whether or not the information is accurate.

Of course, though, it’s worth keeping in mind that false news can even spread between the outlets themselves.

The Source

There are a lot of very well established blogs, news sites, and forums which are known for the quality of their content.

Places like this will often be unable to afford to give you an unpleasant experience and will work hard to provide consistent work.

Sticking with options like this can be the best way to give yourself confidence in what you read.

The Tools To Help You

Along with the work you can do for yourself, there are loads of tools out there which can also lend a helping hand in this department.

It’s always worth using all of the resources you can when you’re fighting for accurate information.

It can be hard to rest assured that you’re taking the right action when you work by yourself, and a lot of people will make mistakes along the way.

Using other people’s services takes away this concern, while also giving you the chance to take the weight off of your shoulders.

You can find some of the best options to use below.

Blogs

Nowadays, blogs are one of the best ways to get your hands on information online.

Not only are these sites often very professional, but they also work hard to provide information which you’re interested in, and are run by professionals in the field.

When you’re looking to invest in homes, for example, you need to be able to get quality property news to stay ahead of the market.

Smaller sites are often the best for this, as they will have insights which you won’t see elsewhere.

Apps

Along with websites, there are loads of tools which can be used on your mobile phone to help with this work. Fact checking apps have been around for a long time, and are regularly updated with data about the subjects you like.

Along with this, there are loads of options out there which are designed to make cross-referencing easier.

This sort of job can often be very confusing, and a lot of people will struggle to do it well, making it well worth looking into the idea of some extra help along the way.

Reviews

When you find a site which you like the look of, there is a little bit of work you will have to do before you can start using it.

There are loads of review services out there which cover this sort of field. Offering some insight from other users, this sort of approach can be a great way to ensure that you always know how good the information you’re reading it. Of course, though, you will have to take them with a pinch of salt.

Avoiding Social Media

While it can be great for catching up with friends, social media is a rarely a good place to keep up with the news.

The systems which are used to make posts popular don’t take into account the quality of the information involved.

Instead, if a lot of users interact with them, they will rank highly and will get more exposure.

This makes it incredibly easy for viral content to spread. When this content is inaccurate, though, problems can start to occur.

Fact Checking For Power Users - Social Media

Photo by Kingston Chen on Unsplash

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it will be much easier to avoid falling into the trap of using false information on the internet.

In a lot of cases, fake news and lies have lead to a lot of problems for individuals.

When something is important, it’s always worth making sure what you read is correct, even if it takes more work.

Question: Do you do any fact checking for power users? What approaches do you use? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.