Sunday, October 24, 2021

Don't Fall for Fake

It's really worrying to see so much fake news being shared online. I took a look at one of the Filipino groups here in Singapore last night and was really sad to see that members were actively sharing fake news. I got curious and took a look at the profiles and pages. The pages they were sharing were indeed peddlers of fake news. The sadder thing about it is the page had over 45K followers! 

Most of those sharing fake news were domestic helpers. I used to do a lot of talks about how to protect yourself online for teachers and students. I realized that this should be extended to more groups of people who go online. Government agencies who deploy workers abroad should probably include a session about it. If you want to help someone protect themselves online, you can use the "Be Internet Awesome" curriculum. It helps you understand the following: what to share/not share, spot what's real and fake, keep your privacy and being kind online. 

Simple Ways to Protect Yourself Online

1. Stick to official media outlets

It's really hard to spot fake, so I stick to known news websites when reading about current events. For international news there's CNN, BBC, Fox News, Washington Post, For Philippine news I stick to,, Manila Bulletin, GMA News and ABS-CBN News. For showbiz news there's 

2. Skip watching trash videos

When I watch news videos on YouTube I also stick to official news organizations. I see a lot of fake news also (especially showbiz news), so I normally set them to "Don't recommend channel". This helps keep my stream clean. I also don't click on videos that copy and splice original videos out of respect for content creators. When there's nothing good to watch I check out NatGeo and BBC nature videos or I watch music videos from Wish 107.5 or I watch tutorials for my hobby.

I tried Tiktok for a day. The content is just not for me so I uninstalled it. 

3. Be wary of forwarded messages

One of the biggest ways fake information is circulated is through forwarded messages. I have friends who have fallen in this trap especially when it comes to news about COVID-19. One even believed it and thought the virus was not real, he got sick. He's also not vaccinated. 

I honestly got burned once with a forwarded message. The message was about getting a free burger. It gave instructions to forward the message to 5 people and register on a page. I soon realized that it was impossible for them to track sending the message to other people. I sent my apologies to my friends for sending the message. A day or two after the burger joint released an announcement that the message did not come from them. Since then I only use messaging apps only when I have to chat with someone. I rarely forward messages and only do if it comes from a reliable source. 

Protect yourself and your loved ones. We realized this when a family member was duped by his barber to create a new account. And that's another lesson for another day. You're homework for today is to check your parents stream to see what kind of content they are digesting. 

CB////*Yr2/195 #StuckAtHomeDay/Yr2/216 #NewG255 #Home11 #Xmas63 #StayHome #BeKind 

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