(TheConservativeNews.org) – Fake news is nothing new, but it has incorporated some elements people may not be aware of. Make no mistake; the general public has some responsibility here. Truly knowing what’s going on in the world takes far more than glancing at an emotionally evocative headline and passing it on. And sometimes, “news” doesn’t come from a news site at all.
News of the 21st Century
Mainstream media (MSM) is by no means impartial. In all fairness, it’s hard to be 100% impartial at all, because our views tend to come out in writing, even if we don’t want them to. But, when you’re backed by people or entities that have specific interests, it’s almost impossible. Because of that, and the fact that news sites simply don’t always get every single detail of the day, many look toward other sources, like memes, blogs, vlogs, and social media posts.
When it comes to verifying any kind of content, a lack of an original source, such as an Executive Order, hearing or press release is a good indication the facts may not line up as presented on the site. Sometimes, it’s just lazy or sloppy reporting. Either way, head to the source and compare the article to the information there.
One way the news can be altered in anything but an audio-only file is by using fake images. Don’t assume these will only be in the form of pictures of people, either. Image editing works for images of text, too. In this way, it can look like someone tweeted something they didn’t or was with someone they weren’t. These are called “deep fakes.” Software like FotoForensics can show you if an image was edited whether it’s on your own computer or a website.
Audio and Video Alterations
Editing audio and video is another way to create fake news. These edits can make it look like people said things they didn’t or did things they didn’t. Photo forensics can help detect image edits in screenshots, but audio is harder. There is no easy way to spot a fake audio. You can use software to compare hums or background noise and sometimes you can see where audio was put in if you have the software that allows you to visually compare sound bytes.
The main thing is not to get lazy. Never trust a site or person so much that you never put them to the test. At least check periodically and stay away from anyone or any site that never offers a source or goes on the defensive when you ask for one.
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