How to Counter Fake News and Disinformation With “ESCAPE”

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Adi Permana

BANDUNG, – American Corner of University Library of ITB held a webinar series titled “American Culture and Conversation” on March 4th, 2022. The topic discussed in this webinar was “How to Counter Fake News and Disinformation”. The subject matter was delivered by Laura Stone and guided by Alexandria Cempaka Harum from American Corner of ITB. The seminar was delivered in both English and Indonesian.

American Corner is a partnership program between the United States Embassy in Jakarta and multiple universities across Indonesia. American Corner offers various access to new and reliable information on politics, economy, culture, education, and social life in the United States. American Culture and Conversation is conducted by American Corner of ITB every two weeks per month.

Stone started the exposition by defining fake news and disinformation. “Fake news is news that contains invalid information and lies. Therefore, the authenticity of fake news cannot be verified. Fake news is commonly fabricated and shared throughout the masses to control them”, explained Laura.

In addition, Laura described that the dissemination of fake news has been growing massively. This is because the internet has enabled people to get all types of news and contents, and even allowed them to make their own.

As a consequence, a new method to counter fake news has come to light: ESCAPE. ESCAPE stands for multiple acronyms; E for Evidence, S for Source, C for Context, A for Audience, P for Purpose, and E for Execution. Stone elucidated this method one by one to help us combat fake news.

Firstly, we need to find the truth or evidence from what we have read. This step can be done by simply double-checking the information through other sources that are more credible on the internet. Secondly, we need to know the source of the news, which can be done easily by asking the individuals who have shared it beforehand. Thirdly, we also need to analyze the context of the news. Most of the time, the title of the news is biased and full of “clickbait”. Therefore, it is important to fully read the news and understand the context behind it.

Furthermore, we can identify the target audience of the news by simply reading it. We can also know the purpose and the truth behind it. Sometimes, news that is intended to provoke people ends up being hoaxes. Finally, the execution. In this case, execution means the way the news is written and produced. The quality of writing, grammar, images, among other factors, can indicate whether the news is indeed fake or not.

To implement these principles, Laura also shared some steps to fend off fake news. “First, do not only read the title. Reading the news from start to finish definitely helps us identify the content and context of the news. Second, pick and read news from trustworthy sources. And last of all, use the page and hoaxy to check the authenticity of said news”, Laura concluded.

Reporter: Yoel Enrico Meiliano (Food Engineering, 2020)
Translator: Ariq Ramadhan Teruna (Faculty of Industrial Technology, 2021)

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