How to avoid fake news to avoid getting embarrassed as Novak Djokovic’s father

While most of the domestic and world public is amused (or appalled) by Novak Djokovic’s strategy to play in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated, a big (and rather amusing) story has developed in the background about an Australian brigadier general who resigned in solidarity with one of the the world’s best tennis players.

According to social media, the general, whose name is Moit Egadio (when translated in slang – “you’ll get shoot at by my..”), became the hero of the Serbian public and all those who support Djokovic, including his father Srdjan, who mentioned in one of his public speeches an Australian soldier as an example of principledness and professionalism.

For those who haven’t figured out the sketch yet, Mojte Egadjo is actually Steve Carell from the Space Force series, but his character was clearly not recognizable to Djokovic’s team or the hundreds of social media users who shared the satirical notice as true and valuable information. And none of this would have happened if any of these followers had checked the news source. It’s about Pera Vampir, a satirist twitter user who has been entertaining with witty posts for a decade, and it would be clear from a cursory review of his profile that this is pure banter.

With just this one action, each user would go through the first two basic steps to verify the veracity of each news item:

1. Check the source – in this case it’s twitter

2. Check the author – a twitter under a pseudonym that has a warning on the home page:

The following are additional steps to distinguish between accurate and incorrect information, as well as tips for developing a critical assessment of the veracity of published content.

3. Check other sources – has any relevant media transmitted this news and which sources are referred to?

4. Check the facts – have you tried to google the term Moit Egadio or similar derivatives? Or google a photo of a brigadier general?

5. Check comments following the post – Did you check the comments below the original tweet or some post that refers to the original tweet?

6. Check the date of the original publication – sometimes old news or information and photos taken out of context are shared

7. Check if the title corresponds to the content of the publication – Sometimes, due to a larger number of clicks, the title is out of context in relation to the rest of the text and does not correspond to reality

8. Think about your own prejudices – revelations that are in line with our values and beliefs sound convincing, even when they are far from the truth

9. Uses fact checking media to check the accuracy of content – in Croatia it is Faktograf, the only Croatian media specialized in fact checking – checking the factual accuracy of claims in public space, also a member of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN).

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