Spot Fake News Workshop
Fake News works best when put within a context we expect to see it.
For example, if you saw a headline that read “Calvin Klein to release new puppy-scented fragrance Summer 2021” you would likely disregard it. Who would actually buy puppy-scented perfume? That makes no sense.
But if you saw that same headline attached to a picture of a puppy with the Calvin Klein logo, you might give it a second thought. After all, it has the company’s official branding and who knows what people are into these days. But the idea of puppy-scented perfume still feels a bit strange.
Now imagine you come across the same ad plastered across a major billboard in Times Square.
It’s an advertisement with official company branding on one of the most expensive billboards in the country, surrounded by other advertisements you know to be timely and legitimate (ie. Wonder Woman is currently in theaters). Do you sense the same red flags as before?
Putting fake news in a familiar context makes it easier for our brains to skim over it without questioning its authenticity. But with fake news rampant like it is, we have got to stay on high alert.
Don’t be fooled by a 5 minute Photoshop job. Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.