Be social media smart: Is seeing believing?

Flicking through social media, it’s easy to be taken in by a flawless selfie, dramatic videos or shocking stories. But not every image we see is real.

BBC journalist Tina Daheley looks at how to check what can and can’t be believed.

Tips for checking what is and isn't real:

  1. Images - look for clues in the picture and do a reverse image search to find where it came from
  2. Video - use a video checking tool to see the action frame by frame, where you can spot anything that doesn't look quite right.

You can also look out for:

  1. Source – who’s posted the story? Have a look at their previous posts and their bio or ‘about’ section to find out why they are sharing
  2. Followers – how many followers do they have and who are they? This can tell you a lot about the person or page that is posting the stories
  3. Verified – do they have a blue tick? Many social platforms use this to show verified accounts, which means they are real and most likely trustworthy.
  4. Response – what are other people saying? Replies, comments or trending posts might show different sides to the story.

Where next?

Tips for spotting fake news online
Think like a journalist: How to check a story
Fake news and BBC Young Reporter
Fact or Fake?