5 Digital Weapons To Fight Hoaxes

The coronavirus era has seen disinformation at its highest point. It’s becoming harder to combat hoaxes and misinformation. A hoax when it comes to health can cause severe harm and great suffering. You will find some digital tools that you can use to combat hoaxes and filter false information made by individuals or organizations for ideological or economic purposes. These are not related to health.

Verify the authenticity of the source by identifying it

For data on the coronavirus pandemic, we all know which reliable sources are. The WHO, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the ministries of Health are all examples. While we can debate how they present their data, in principle, they won’t provide false data. But… what happens to the webs that aren’t known? It is difficult to know who it is.

Search engine Icann.org

It will reveal who owns a domain and when it was registered. You can also see with whom it was registered. And where it is located. You can quickly compare the results to a search for a known domain and see if a domain seems untrustworthy.

2. Contrast hoaxes with other sources to fight against them

It can be difficult to identify reliable sources and fight hoaxes. Generally, scientific organizations, recognized publishers and government agencies (in democratic nations) are reliable sources. They also have a higher level of reliability than other emitters.

PIPL

If you are looking for information about individual authors and want to find out if they are reliable sources, the PIPL search engine offers a deep search (Deep Web). It is highly comprehensive and requires a professional email account. PIPL gives the search person his e-mails and telephone numbers, as well as information about places and cars, his professional career, training, and people who are related to him.

We have searched for Donald Trump to give you an example. This is just a small part of the results we have found.

3. Contrasting images can help you fight hoaxes

A hoax can be used to present a fact in a false context or manipulate a story with false information. In times like coronavirus, you might show images that correspond with the health fight in one nation and attribute them to another country. This reverse search will help you to identify hoaxes and deactivate the technique using images.

Google reverse image search

This involves either pasting the link to an image or uploading it directly to the google search engine. You can compare the metadata of several images to determine which one is correct. However, this is a bit more complicated.

ANALYZE METADATA IN A VIDEO

We can extract an image from this publication which was posted on Twitter, for example. It says Emma Gonzales (sic) is the last Hitler Youth, and is violating the constitution.

Emma Gonzalez, an American activist and gun control advocate who survived the Parkland shooting, is actually Emma Gonzalez. If you do a quick reverse search on the image, it will show that the image is a manipulation animation. The activist is in fact breaking a target shooting poster.

4. You can fight hoaxes by identifying fake deepfake videos

Deep learning technology allows celebrities to pretend that they are watching real videos. It analyzes millions of hours of video and uses programs like FakeApp (an app that is popular for placing faces of famous actresses on porn videos). Simulated videos appear so real it is difficult to combat hoaxes in this field. Specialists could identify them using signals like the movement of the body and the intonation, but “deepfake videos” are dangerous as this fake Barack Obama video shows.

These and other spoofed videos can still be viewed using tools such as this one by Amnesty International USA.

Citizen Evidence

This website will identify the credit of the video, its date of publication, and its description. It will also extract some images from the video to be used in reverse Google searches. Let’s see Obama’s fake video.

It is first obvious that the video was released by BuzzFeedVideo. This is a company that specializes in viral content tracking. We also notice Jordan Peele’s name in the credits. He is the director of Let me out (2017) as well as other suspense and horror films. This gives us more clues. The reverse search will reveal that the video is fake and was made to warn of the dangers of this content.

This Globorama link, which is only a few years old but still gives us a wealth of tools to examine a fake video in detail, is a good example.

5. WhatsApp and viralization are two ways to fight against hoaxes in the environment

Study “Disinformation during times of pandemic” found that WhatsApp was responsible for 24.7% of hoaxes related to the coronavirus pandemic. We can see that WhatsApp was responsible for more than 40% of hoaxes that they identified, even though 41.4% of them remain unidentified.

You first add the number 644229319 to your WhatsApp contact list. Next, you will need to enter a greeting. The chatbot will then respond with the following options:

Select 1 (verify content) and you’ll see the option to send an image or description of a content you’ve read or heard.

We describe the questionable content, and then wait for the bot’s response.

It is now time to review the denials and verifications Maldita.es has about the subject.

Epilogue: Don’t share it if you aren’t sure

It is crucial not to spread false information or memes that we are exposed to every day. If hoaxes go viral, they lose most of the virulence. The study, published in Science, looked at hoaxes that were shared on Twitter over a period of 11 years. It was done with a population exceeding 3 million people. Researchers explain this by the “novelty effect”. According to the study, falsehoods are more common than the truth, so it is more likely that people will share them. This is why hoaxes are so popular. Many Internet users have a huge impact on their spread.

These are only five tools available on the internet to combat hoaxes. We live in a time when lies and misinformation are rampant. As citizens and readers, we need to be equipped with digital weapons to fight them. Otherwise, we could fall for false or harmful information – even to ourselves. – At worst.

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