Do you have a feeling that you are not able to escape manipulation and disinformation, but you don’t have anyone else to play the game with? Don’t worry, we have some basic tips for you as well.

Do not recklessly trust everything you read, or your friend tells you. If you are not certain of news’ credibility, look at the source it comes from. You can e.g. verify who is the owner of the media or who works and writes for it. If you can’t find any information, stay alert. In a case that the news is coming from social media, you should be cautious about how many times it was shared. Negative information and disinformation spreads more quickly than high-quality information.

Second warning shall be titles written in capital letters. Alternatively, topped up with a number of question and exclamation marks.

On social media, you can often encounter very old articles which, at the first sight, look like they are informing about current events. Do not forget to check when the article was published.

The title sells the article. Do not think that reading the title is sufficient. Article itself can be saying something completely different.

Before you start reading the article, check who wrote it. Author did not sign the article, writes news as admin or is using a pseudonym? It is hard to trust someone; whose identity is unknown.

While reading an article, focus on what sources does the author uses and whether they mention them. If you want to avoid disinformation, it is necessary to answer the following questions with yes. Is the source a real person that can be looked up? Are the foreign sources, cited by the author, trustworthy? Does the original article give the same information? Are several sources present in the article, giving multiple opinions (typically, multiple representatives of different political parties)?

In a case of social media, sources quoted by the author are important as well. Be cautious about the photographs as they can also be manipulated.  

Check the photos. Some can be photomontage, others can be used out of context to illustrate completely different situation. It is enough to verify the picture via e.g. Google Chrome or TinEye which can tell you whether the picture have something to do with the article or not.

If you are not sure about the statements in the article, verify them. You can find facts on the websites of institutions, verify them in serious sources (national and foreign), or you can visit websites such as Snopes.com, BBC Reality Check or FactCheck which disprove untruthful information.

Does the title itself raise anger or fear? It happens very rarely in the case of high-quality articles. Journalists, unlike disinformation websites, pursue objectivity and truthfulness, hence there is no room for emotions.

Use common sense, verify information and be sure about the truthfulness of the article before you share it on the social media. If you look up sources and figure out that you encountered a fake news, don’t be afraid to tell the others!