Right now, people are stuck at home in a bit to fight the spread of COVID-19, glued to the screen of their mobile devices. That means the speed at which news and information can spread multiplies exponentially, considering the already fast-paced online platforms that are available.

With a need for credible real-time updates, the call for social media responsibility has also risen with fake news keeping pace with the spread of the virus.

Vivo has shared some steps on how to be a responsible mobile phone user by keeping the “fake news virus” at bay.

  1. Don’t share posts and news stories immediately

Most headlines are made to give an enticing summary or lead-in to a story, but they aren’t always what they are. Go through the entire story first, and make sure to check the date as well. People tend to share news updates from even a few years back.

  1. Read through for inconsistencies

By actively reading through articles, one could already deduce the credibility of the story. Fake news tends to include outrageous claims, biases, questionable facts and figures, and grammatical errors—one that a credible writer would seldom commit.

  1. Be on the lookout for the source

Check the source of the story or post—it’s usually located at the top or bottom of posts and images. As for external links, you can also check the website address located on top of the headline and verify it first before clicking—shady web addresses can lead to virus-infested websites.

  1. Visit the supposed source

News update templates can easily be retouched using readily available photo editing apps. Visit the official news sites or social media pages of the supposed source and verify if they did release the story. It would also be wise to check if other credible news sites released a similar story.

  1. Reflect on actually posting or sharing

By the time you’ve finished verifying, and given that it is indeed a credible story from a bona fide source, you’ve probably had enough time to reflect on whether it is actually worth sharing in the first place. It would also be good to review your intentions in sharing the material.

Additional step: Download credible news apps

You can download apps that are developed by the top news sites in the country. These are readily available through the Vivo app store, available in all Vivo smartphones.

Remember that there is power staying in and keeping yourself updated, and the last thing we want at this time is fake news spreading and causing unnecessary panic.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.