Which is the most fake emotion

How can you recognize fake news?

With the help of these six aspects you can expose fake news as well as manipulated images, audios and videos.

Technological ways out of the jungle of facts

On the one hand, the technological possibilities make it possible to create and distribute deceptively real fake news. On the other hand, highly developed forensic methods now also allow image, video or audio manipulations to be recognized. Using software or an app, technically used markings - similar to watermarks in conventional image or video material - can be identified and thus the origin of a medium can be determined.

With the help of the image reverse search, users can also research the original source of an image. To do this, the image must be uploaded to the search engine. The search will find the websites that contain the image, other sizes of the image, and similar images. If images appear in a completely different context or have appeared on the Internet for years, these are indications of false reports.


Art | Getty / lechatnoir

Six important aspects for your source check

Instructions and checklists for a step-by-step and conscientious review of news reports are another helpful and everyday means of combating fake news. The six most important aspects are listed here:

  1. Design features: How is the message designed?
    A sensational writing style, an emotionally oriented text, lots of exclamation points and question marks combined with spectacular images - all of these could be indications of fake news. With this style, the content takes a back seat: eye-catching packaging is intended to attract readers. Interests such as profit or propaganda could be behind the offer.

  2. Check origin: Who is the author? Is there an imprint?
    Check whether an author has been specified. Can you not find the relevant information directly on the article? Then the authorship should possibly be veiled. If an imprint is missing, distrust is required and the content may be dubious. In Germany there is an imprint requirement for commercial offers that do not serve purely personal or family purposes.

  3. Source research: what do other sources say?
    To get an overall picture of a situation, research other sources and compare the facts presented. Pay attention to the context and time period in which the information and images appear. You can also use sources from other countries or in other languages. Sometimes translation errors cause misinformation.

  4. Search engine check: where is the origin of a report?
    If you receive a message via a messenger, you can check the content in a search engine. Copy parts of the message into a search engine box and search for the origin. Then filter the results for contradicting statements. You may find background information to help you get the bigger picture.

  5. Facts and figures: is the information plausible and up-to-date?
    Check whether the text, image, video or audio file has a creation date. Check whether the figures and facts mentioned are plausible and up-to-date. If studies are cited, you can check the original study to see whether the information provided is correct. Does the message appear in fact checkers like Hoaxmap or Mimikama? This is where dubious information is checked for its truthfulness. It could be an out of date message that has already been identified as fake news.

  6. Images, videos and audio files: technically check forgeries
    Images, audios and videos are now difficult to identify as fakes because they look deceptively real. However, if you have become suspicious because the medium shows something unusual or does not match the current information situation, you can search for the origin with the help of screenshots via the Google image search or TinEye. If you have a video available as a YouTube link, you can enter it into the YouTube Dataviewer. It then determines the exact upload time of the video and shows you the preview images that can be seen before the video starts.



Getty / Laurence Dutton

Teaching media at SESAM

At SESAM you will find teaching materials and media on the subject of fake news.

SESAM media library

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