3 Simple Steps to Detect Hoax
Many of us still easily believe in any article or story we read/watch/listen. We don’t even try to find out first whether it’s worth believing. These behavior would make us a very delicious prey for hoaxes. Just in case you’re not sure what hoax is, Wiki describe it as “a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth” or if I may say in my own terms, Hoax is a lie spreaded intentionally as a fact to deceive others.
With current technology, hoaxes could be easily spreaded in many formats: Email, Blog, Websites, Instant Messenger, Text Messages (SMS), Facebook Status, anything. The only limitation for hoax growth is the creativity of the creator. So bad response gone worse, we might not stop in just believing it but even help spreading them to family and friends.
Many hoaxes don’t feel harmful, some might feel very helpful, and some might even make us think that it’s better to pass this information regardless the accountable of the information. However, the end result could end up worst than we could possibly imagine. We might inadvertently affect ones habit, fears, mindset or even believes. This is made possible because most hoax will provoke our emotions and made us feel something. They made us feel sad, angry, happy, dissapointed, afraid or even touch the sensitive parts of our life like religion or the people we loved. They must have learned that many people lost their common sense once they let their emotion take over.
Why would people start making hoax? I think some people think of it just as a joke. Some others like to experiment and see how many people fall for it. But some others are mean enough to spread hoax for their own advantage and even one that could drowned their competitors image. This is definitely the worst type.
How do we protect ourself from hoax? Well, there are many ways, but these are the 3 simple steps I would have for myself:
Use common sense. If we allow ourself to take a bit more time to digest the story, we’d actually notice that most hoax doesn’t really make any sense. If you think it’s impossible, then it probably is.
Browse for information on some CREDIBLE local/global newscasters. It could be TV, Newspaper, Radio or even Websites. If it’s not anywhere, than it probably isn’t worth worrying.
Confirm directly to the subject. If it’s about a website then visit it, if it’s about a company/corporate then call their office/call center or visit their official website, if it’s about a person you know than call him/her. This last step could only fail if the hoax creator is the subject of the hoax itself (^^) for this very special case, only time will tell
I hope we would now be more careful in believing new information and moreover not to help spreading it before we confirm if it’s a true story or just another hoax. Cheers!