Distinguishing a fake information from a true one: formation with Michaëla Cancela Kieffer

Michaëla Cancela Kieffer, of the Google News Lab in Spain and Portugal, was on October 19 at the Social Sciences Institute to teach the “Trust and Verification” training, as part of a strategy to bring the Google News Initiative closer to the universities with training in Communication.

The Google collaborated spoke about false information and strategies to identify them. According to Michaëla Cancela Kieffer, we are in a period of “fake news invasion”, although studies indicate that Portugal is one of the countries with the highest levels of confidence in the news. Still, the Portuguese are also the most worried about false news, according to an article in O Jornal Económico, whose title refers to “61% of Portuguese claim to find ‘fake news’ at least once a week.”

Why are fake news so successful? How do we identify them?

Michaëla Cancela Kieffer believes that people share this news because they think it is new news, as well as saying that emotional factors lead to the spread of this type of information six times faster.

During the session, the trainer presented a set of strategies for identifying false information. According to Michaëla Kieffer, it is critical to see if there are major contradictions between the data provided by the sources, just as it is important to be alert to the details and ‘when’ of the news.

For Michaëla Kieffer, the use of images makes the information more appealing, which is why they can be a tool to identify the truth of the information. Websites and applications such as YouTube, Google Geo Search Tool, as well as Google’s own Reverse Search tool were some of the tips that Michaëla Kieffer left the students and teachers who constituted the hearing.

[Text published 19.10.2018]