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How to spot fake news

With the advent of new media technologies, it has been easy to tweak a trending story for selfish advantage of those with ill motives.

The left side above shows genuine Star newspaper for today. The right side shows a fake news copy which is illegal to produce. Photo/MUSYOKA NGUI

Popular brands are used without express permission of their owners in order to fool followers that something is news but in fact it ends up being a lie. It is what is called fake news.

One way of knowing of a story is fake is by identifying the source. All news organizations have their websites and social media pages to share content. But a third party can use a recently produced paper to ride on its wave in order to pass a political point at the damage of such popular outlets.

On Sunday evening, Mwingi Times obtained a fake news headline from Facebook where it was shared by a faceless user. When the story was shared with the professionals, it was flagged as fake. And the correct headline was sent. But the old fake one was still circulating on social media fooling users.

It is illegal to share fake news since some have capacity to misinform, cause panic and even at worse a grievous harm to the users.

Media Council of Kenya monitors content disseminated by netizens. Of late, there has been a surge in fake news.

Another way to know a fake news is by cross-referencing it against existing literature from the original source. If the top story being bandied around by the “fake gospel preachers” are true, they should be visible on the website that first broadcast the message. If it is not, that is a cause for raising eyebrows.

According to Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act of 2018, Cap 22 prohibits false publications.

The genuine headline is shown on this link they have shared on their official website:


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