April 2, 2018
Using April 1st, April Fool's Day, as a reference date, we list a series of strategies to help avoid the fake news stories that are infecting various niches. The propagation of fake news is a phenomenon that has reached huge proportions with the growth of Internet access.  These types of publications contain incorrect information and spread disinformation, usually for the purpose of achieving some political or economic gain. 

With the proximity of the elections, this issue has gained major importance and was the topic of debate on the Brazilian Senate floor this week.  While the political class discusses the subject, others adopt a more practical approach, such as the creation of the Truth Network. The initiative, which will be launched today at the Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) in Rio de Janeiro, is an alliance between media outlets, academic institutions and civil society to combat fake news stories using artificial intelligence.  At the launch, the winner of the challenge to develop a tool to combat fake news will be announced, the prize being a grant to perfect the program.

How to identify fake news stories:

While we don't have the most effective laws to curb fake news stories, or fully developed tools to do so, we are listing some tips for you to determine if the information in your network is true or false: 

Verify the source of the information
Many sites use names that appear to be media outlets but in reality have nothing to do with the press.  There are also news stories from foreign sites, where there are two issues: the site may not be trustworthy, or the author of the post may have made translation errors. 

Don't trust sensationalist headlines
Some sites survive based on hits to sell advertising and, for this reason, publish information based on the ability to get the public to click on the link in a practice called “click baiting.” Oftentimes, these sites prioritize the speed and return of hits, leaving the verification and truthfulness of their information on the back burner.

Read all the content
The headline or title of the material may offer a different understanding than the complete article.  Interpreted out of context, there can be a huge distortion of its original meaning.  According to a study published by Forbes magazine in August 2016, only 59% of shared links on social media are read in full.

Check the news from other sources
If a story is true and relevant, it will most likely be listed among the news articles from major media sites.  Also check the original publication date. Often we come across information from the past, presented as if it were current. You can also go to several sites to verify if a story is true, such as at the Brazilian organizations “Aos Fatos” and “”.

With these tools and by applying the tips above, you will be helping combat fake news stories that affect all milieus, including real estate, seeking and protecting the truth.