How to spot fake news about coronavirus

Dubai Police warns that spreading rumours about COVID-19 on social media will lead to fines, penalties and arrest. Here's the formula for fact-checking your feed
How to spot fake news about coronavirus
If your news is being read to you by a professional film and television actor, it's probably fake. No disrespect to Jennifer Aniston intended

A university academic has created this four-step formula to help us fact-check our social media feeds as the global pandemic continues. 

Digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield is the Director of Blended and Networked Learning at Washington State University, Vancouver. Mike urges his students to use a method he's created called S.I.F.T. for evaluating information which he's updated in the light of the COVID-19 crisis here.

These are Mike's recommendations. 

Do you know the website or source of information? 

Investigate the source
Look up your source and consider what other sites say about your source. Grazia would add to this, question whether the information comes from an official government source and is it being reported by an experienced journalist for a respected media brand.

Find trusted coverage
Find verified reporting or analysis, and explore multiple sources. A more in-depth version of the story should offer  more viewpoints. Look beyond the first few search results and consider if the URL is one you trust. 

Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context
Find the original source for context to make a call on if the version you have is accurately presented.

Last week, Dubai Media Offices refuted claims that footage of a man having an epileptic seizure was a victim of COVID-19.

Ashley Carr, Faculty Librarian, Highland Campus Library and Associate Professor at Austin Community College in Texas suggests a Reverse Google Image search to examine if the photo or screenshot from the video you're looking at on social media can really be attributed to the story you're reading. Ashley suggests: 

1. Grab the URL for the photo in question, or download it to our computers - if you're using Google Chrome, right click and select "Search Google for Image".

2. Go to Google Images and click on the camera icon.

3. Paste the URL or upload your image, then see if the results match.

Photo: Apple TV