How to Tell If an Online Article is Real, Fake or a Scam

Fake news, scams, and phishing are the plague of our times. It’s getting increasingly difficult to determine which websites are presenting truthful information. I’m not just talking about political views; people can disagree about those, and while you may not like what you read on certain sites, that doesn’t mean, as some like to say, “it’s fake news.”

A Stanford University study of 7,804 students from middle school through college found that some 82 percent of them cannot distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. These findings present a real risk when visiting websites you’re not familiar with; and, not just for students, for everyone. How can you know if what you’re reading online is telling the truth or trying to scam you either directly—such as by trying to sell you something, or get your personal information—or indirectly, by spreading lies, or by sowing doubt?

In this article, we offer a few tips to help you sort the wheat from the chaff on the Internet. These tips will help you determine if an online article is real, fake or a scam.

Read the rest of the article on the Mac Security Blog.

This is Why Apple News Sucks

I have rarely used Apple News, but with its inclusion in macOS Mojave, I have been checking it out recently. But it sucks. Here’s what I see today:

Apple news sucks

In what world what a story about extra-gooey-cheesy breakfast sandwiches be the top story? Is this a flawed algorithm that is pushing this story as the leader? I don’t follow the “food” topic, so I don’t see how this story even gets in my feed.

But look at the rest of the stories in the For You section; not one of them is in any way serious or important; maybe the Barnes & Noble story, if you’re an investor or publisher, but the rest of the top stories – travel, movies, etc. – how can anyone take Apple’s algorithm seriously?

Given how the news has been weaponized, and how important it is, Apple simply has to do better than this.

Why Can Everyone Spot Fake News But The Tech Companies? – BuzzFeed

“Among those who pay close attention to big technology platforms and misinformation, the frustration over the platforms’ repeated failures to do something that any remotely savvy news consumer can do with minimal effort is palpable: Despite countless articles, emails with links to violating content, and viral tweets, nothing changes. The tactics of YouTube shock jocks and Facebook conspiracy theorists hardly differ from those of their analog predecessors; crisis actor posts and videos have, for example, been a staple of peddled misinformation for years.

This isn’t some new phenomenon. Still, the platforms are proving themselves incompetent when it comes to addressing them — over and over and over again. In many cases, they appear to be surprised by that such content sits on their websites. And even their public relations responses seem to suggest they’ve been caught off guard with no plan in place for messaging when they slip up.”

All of this raises a mind-bendingly simple question that YouTube, Google, Twitter, and Facebook have not yet answered: How is it that the average untrained human can do something that multibillion-dollar technology companies that pride themselves on innovation cannot? And beyond that, why is it that — after multiple national tragedies politicized by malicious hoaxes and misinformation — such a question even needs to be asked?

Because they wan’t to use algorithms; they don’t want to have to pay humans.

Source: Why Can Everyone Spot Fake News But The Tech Companies?