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Here are some ways to prevent being faked out by 'fake news'

by Take Two®

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Facebook logos are pictured on the screens of a smartphone (R), and a laptop computer, in central London on November 21, 2016. Facebook on Monday became the latest US tech giant to announce new investment in Britain with hundreds of extra jobs but hinted its success depended on skilled migration after Britain leaves the European Union. The premier social network underlined London's status as a global technology hub at a British company bosses' summit where Prime Minister Theresa May sought to allay business concerns about Brexit. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images) JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Late last month, during all the chaos of Hurricane Harvey news, sensational photos and stories of the devastation spread fast, including this one:

Shark video

That's Jesse Watters of Fox News. The only problem is, that photo he saw of a shark swimming on a flooded Houston highway? It's not real.

So-called "fake news" like this often spreads quickly on social media. In an effort to counter this, Facebook is now flagging stories they think are unfounded. 

However, a new study out of Yale found that might actually only make things worse.

Alexios Mantzarlis is head of Poynter's International Fact Checking Network. He told Take Two's A Martinez that "this study is only the first of many on this pilot," so there's still work to do. In the meantime, he shared these tips to stay vigilant.

1. Be aware before you share

See something sensational that's really juicy? Take a beat and analyze it.

"If you see a story, that you're not sure or that you think looks a little too good to be true, don't retweet it. Don't share it. Don't comment on it.

It doesn't take that much time for the worst stories. And we need to remember as social media consumers, that we are actually also producers, right? Every single like, share, retweet, affects an audience that goes much beyond us."

2. Tell a friend if they're wrong (but be nice)

"Another interesting story that came out last week that we found on Twitter, people who share hoaxes or misinformation are more likely to accept correction from friends than from strangers.

So, that's a sign to say that, hey, if your crazy uncle is sharing stuff that you know to be false as messy as complicated as it's going to get ... please comment with a correction underneath."

But keep in mind, you have to be careful when calling someone out on something that challenges their world views.

"We need to remember that we are predisposed to believe things that go along with our world view and explain away things that do not. And so, any correction needs to be mindful of seeming like an attack to who we are."

3. Reverse image search

"This is something in 2017, that really everyone should be able to know how to do. You can reverse search an image on Google and find all previous instances of that photo.

So, if you see a photo from a breaking news case, in this case from Irma, for instance. And you reverse search and you find that it's been around a month, two years, five years ... then you can be sure that it's not from today."

And if you don't know how to reverse image search, it's pretty easy. If you're using Google Chrome it is as simple as opening the image in a new tab, right-clicking it and selecting "Search Google for this image." 

If you're not using Chrome, you simply save the image to your desktop and then drag it over to the Google image search bar.

To hear more about the study as well as Mantzarlis' work as head of Poynter's International Fact Checking network, click the blue play button above.

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