#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 8°C Monday 30 November 2020
Advertisement

Spot any potentially false posts on Facebook? Let us know and we'll factcheck them

TheJournal.ie is debunking some of the many rumours going around about coronavirus.

Image: DPA/PA Images

THE SPREAD OF coronavirus has led to a huge increase in the amount of misinformation being shared on messaging and social media platforms. 

Here at TheJournal.ie, you may know already that we’ve been debunking messages shared on WhatsApp

The messaging app has been a major source of rumours and false information over the past few weeks, from fake suggestions about the army enforcing a country-wide lockdown to dodgy suggestions for ways to avoid getting the coronavirus

But WhatsApp isn’t the only source of misinformation. 

Facebook has often been the Ground Zero for false news, and there has been an increase in the amount of misinformation about coronavirus spreading on it in recent weeks. 

We’re looking into this – and we’re asking for your help. 

Here’s where you come in 

If you see a post about coronavirus – or anything else for that matter -  on Facebook and you think it might be untrue, send it over to us and we’ll check it out. Here’s how to get it to us: 

  • Take a screenshot of the post or else copy the url
  • You can send it to us on Facebook Messenger 
  • You can also send it to us on WhatsApp: 085 221 4696
  • If you’d prefer, you can email it to us: answers@thejournal.ie

You can see stories we’ve already debunked here and follow this thread on Twitter, which has graphics which can be shared across WhatsApp and social media. 

download (4)

*****

While you’re here: there is a lot of false news and scaremongering being spread in Ireland at the moment about coronavirus. Here are some practical ways for you to assess whether the messages that you’re seeing – especially on WhatsApp – are true or not.

toolkit-for-false-news Source: Shutterstock/Jo Panuwat D

STOP, THINK AND CHECK

Look at where it’s coming from. Is it someone you know? Do they have a source for the information (e.g. the HSE website) or are they just saying that the information comes from someone they know? A lot of the false news being spread right now is from people claiming that messages from ‘a friend’ of theirs. Have a look yourself – do a quick Google search and see if the information is being reported elsewhere.

Secondly, get the whole story, not just a headline. A lot of these messages have got vague information (“all the doctors at this hospital are panicking”) and don’t mention specific details. This is often – but not always a sign – that it may not be accurate.

Finally, see how you feel after reading it. A lot of these false messages are designed to make people feel panicked. They’re deliberately manipulating your feelings to make you more likely to share it. If you feel panicked after reading something, check it out and see if it really is true.

 TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Read next:

COMMENTS