Avoiding netlore and hoaxes: How to spot them



Facebook is a social media website where most hoaxes tend to be found

As social media popularity rates begin to rise, the search for credibility becomes harder than it should be. Students at West are offered a variety of databases yet seldom do you see them used for sources. More often students hear stories seen on Facebook and hoax-websites.

English teacher Ms.Dinges said, “When you’re looking for a credible source, you want to look and see when it was last updated and you want it to be recently usually. You also want to look at if the author is listed, you want a real name and not someone with a name like..’Galaxy_Lover20.’ And you will also want to look and see if they cite their sources.”

You can also tell a sites credibility by how it looks, “Usually you need to look in the URL box and see what the link ends in. You’re more likely to find a credible source under .edu, and less likely to find a credible source under .net or .com. Also it’s fairly easy to tell by looks of the page. Usually credible and trusted sources are professional looking and stick to mainly neutral colors,” said Ms. Dinges.

Facebook and other social media sites have been the hub for most netlore and internet hoaxes. Junior Ben Buckley said, “I have heard about the different stories on Facebook that I really never believed in the first place. People talked about the different stories at school and they all just seem totally made up. One of them I read myself was about a prisoner in Texas who was on death row for cannibalism who asked for a child for his last meal. That seemed totally absurd, but people believed it. It was eventually confirmed to be fake though.”

Websites that are know to be hoax-websites include The Onion, The Daily Currant, The Soup, Click Hole, and Buzzfeed. So next time you see a random story on social media, consider the credibility before you read.  Not everything you read on the internet is true.