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5 Interesting Tips You Can Employ in Recognizing Fake News

5 Interesting Tips You Can Employ in Recognizing Fake News

The tail end of 2016 saw the rise of a new way to effectively spread salacious information on the internet without fear of any repercussion. This method, termed as ‘fake news,’ involves writing something false. It can play on stereotypes and confirmation bias of readers. A lot of fake news has been shared multiple times through social media and has gone viral. The fake news phenomenon is here to stay and if like me you love current affairs, the chances that you were sucked in by false information is quite high. Therefore to avoid these pitfalls in 2017, here are some unique ways in which you can recognize fake news.

    1. Guard your space with Google Alerts

    Google Alerts is a unique way to ensure that you receive news from only reputable sources you trust. All you need to do is set alerts that will notify you periodically once specific, informative news from sources you like go live. The process can easily be done in 5 minutes.

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    For those who have a Gmail account, simply login, copy and paste the Google Alert URL (https://www.google.com/alerts), and type in your news items and then click “Create Alert.” This process also works for non-Gmail users but you will have to tie in an email address to receive your alerts.

      2. Check links for credibility

      A journalist’s reputation is built over years. A reputable journalist will definitely have left his or her footprint on the web. The footprint the writer leaves as well as the platforms you find their work posted on should determine the level of seriousness you attribute to such stories.

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      Check out the the links used in the articles. If these links do not ring a bell or are not associated with the .edu, .org or .gov suffix, disregard that news item without second thought.

      3. Bottle in your biases

      Humans are communal creatures and growing up in any society will definitely leave its mark on you. In most cases, these marks are preconceived misconceptions about a particular region, culture, food or religion. Even the most educated of us never truly shed that skin as we grow older. So whenever we see news items, be it subtle or not, that speak to these misconceptions, we may easily believe they’re authentic.

      An interesting tip to combat our inbred biases is to be more open and accepting of other people’s point of view. This attitude should also be put in practice when reading headlines that suck you in due to their shock value. You can simply pass over reading the article, or crosscheck the facts it presents against those from more reputable platforms.

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      4. Fact check with facial and image recognition tools

      This tip addresses those news items that make use of adulterated images to horrify or push a negative narrative during trying times. For example, during the failed coup in Turkey, multiple images were shared on social media platforms in an attempt to depict the situation. In reality, these images originated from different locations and timeframes; they were meant to horrify the public. These kinds of manipulation tactics are deceitful due to how believable they can sometimes be and play upon your limited knowledge on the topic.

      But there is good news, quite a number of facial recognition software as well as image identification apps are now becoming popular on the web and, when in doubt, you can easily download one to help you trace the origin of certain images or recognize people in it.

      5. Let extensions be your detectives

      If you have gone through the earlier tips and believe the time taken to detect fake news using the outlined methods are time consuming, then browser extensions that detect fake news is for you. These extensions can be downloaded on your computer and installed. They then proceed to do all the hard work by scanning through news headlines and identifying the authenticity of a report.

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      The responsibility of keeping fake news items that can disrupt society’s well-being falls on our collective shoulders. It is truly important that we do not help the divisive plans of detractors by sharing suspicious news on our social media pages.

      Image Credits :

      Reading news in mobile phone via stocksnap.io

      Featured photo credit: freepik.com via freepik.com

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      Vikas Agrawal

      Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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      Last Updated on January 13, 2020

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

      Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

      Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

      1. Lumosity

      This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

      Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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      Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

        2. Fit Brains Trainer

        This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

        Free.

        Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

          3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

          Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

          First four games free, then $13 a month.

          cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            4. Brain Fitness Pro

            The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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            Buy for $3.99.

            5. Happify

            If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

            Free to use.

            Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              6. Clockwork Brain

              You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

              Free.

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              Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                7. ReliefLink

                Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                  8. Eidetic

                  Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                  Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    9. Braingle

                    Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                    Free.

                    Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                      10. Not The Hole Story

                      If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                      Free.

                      Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                        11. Personal Zen

                        This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                        Free.

                        personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                          Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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