If you can not be sure whether the news you see online is true or false, what should you do? How to find your compass in this confusing world where the notion of truth is constantly shifting? Midas PR suggests that your focus should not be on the content, but the source and their agenda/political leanings. If you stop looking at news as an attempt to state a fact, but rather to achieve a political aim through communication, then you can stop looking at the message itself and turn your attention to its source.

Ignore Internet trolls and known liars — verifying and refuting the message is pointless in those situations where the source is clearly suspicious. If it is clear that a particular message comes from a source which is known to deceive, it can simply be ignored. If it is an Internet bot (something which is relatively easy to detect), then the messages should be treated accordingly. Not every news item/story deserves attention and discussion. There is no need to engage with all that comes your way.

How to check the source — in order to ignore ‘fake news’ it is important to have a mechanism which would identify untrustworthy sources. Luckily, these mechanisms exist — these are reputation mechanisms. There is nothing paradoxical in the fact that we need to rely on reputation to evaluate information. On the contrary, it is natural that the increasing amount of information available to people in modern times makes them more dependent on using other sources as filters for reliability and credibility.

Learn to pay attention to reputations — check the reputation of the source. The best way to deal with fake news is by developing the ability to assess the reputation of the source. What a citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the accuracy of the news. Rather, one should be competent at reconstructing the reputation path of the piece of information in question, evaluating the intentions of those who circulated it, and figuring out the agendas of those authorities that leant it credibility. People empowered with this skill can watch RT knowing that not everything from this channel can be trusted. Once you know that the channel is biased and pursues a particular agenda, you will be more skeptical of its content.

Misinformation is easily shared, often by those who believe the images to be genuine. Whenever we are at the point of accepting or rejecting new information, we should ask ourselves: Where does it come from? Does the source have credibility? These questions will help us verify the reliability of the information presented by any media. From this you will be in a better position to trust the news.