How to fight fake news, one tweet at a time

Fake news has been getting a lot of attention lately, particularly after the U.S. election, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg planning to crack down on misinformation across the social network, and others claiming it to be a scapegoat for Trump’s victory. 

Whether or not it deserves this heightened attention, there’s no denying that the phenomenon does exist. Despite the lack of credible sources or research, the deliberately-provocative headlines employed by fake news writers means it gets shared far more frequently than genuine stories — and can do some serious persuading (or reinforcing) before anyone gets a chance to debunk or disprove it.

Describing himself as “just one guy trying to help”, Jake Beckman has taken the fight to Twitter with the introduction of his new handle @SavedYouATrick, which he is using to call out news stories that range from the misleading to the blatantly false.

One man crusade

If the Twitter handle sounds familiar, it’s because Beckman has been operating as @SavedYouAClick since mid-2014, has 232,000 followers, and is approaching 5,000 tweets. SavedYouAClick has made a name for itself by squashing clickbaity hanging-question headlines with hilarious answers.

With his latest venture, Beckman is looking to tackle “the next evolved form of clickbait” by using his experience in media to label news claims as false, or diffuse any misleading implications from headlines.

In an interview with The Daily Dot, Beckman stated that “the landscape has shifted to include fake news” but he “didn’t truly understand how large of an impact it was having until the U.S. election in November”. In the same interview he claimed that this account “is a natural extension of the first account” and went on to reassure fans that both accounts will continue to run.