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Don't Get Duped! A Guide to Fake News

Guide to identifying fake news

Tips and Tricks

First watch the video below on how false news spreads.

Tips for spotting fake news:

  • Consider the source.
    • Is the site known to be trustworthy?
    • Does it have a strange URL? Some fake news sites try to mimic the URL's of legitimate news outlets. Here's an example: http://abcnews.com.co/ .
    • Fake news sites constantly change. Consulting lists of fake news sites can be helpful, but none are comprehensive.
  • Read beyond the headline.
    • Outrageous headlines are meant to get your clicks. Don't hit share without reading the story.
  • Check the author​.
    • A quick Google search often turns up an author's LinkedIn page. 
      • Is the author a journalist? Have they written for respected publications?
  • What's the support?
    • Who are the author's sources? 
    • Can you verify the information on a known trustworthy site?
    • Does the source even exist?
  • Check the date.
    • Some stories distort reality by reporting events from the past as if they happened recently. 
  • Is it a joke?
    • Satire uses irony, exaggeration, and even ridicule to provide commentary, often humorous, on topical stories. Theonion.com is an example of a popular satirical site.
  • Check your biases.
    • We tend to seek news that affirms what we already believe. This is called confirmation bias.
    • Look at other stories on the website. Are there lots of outrageous headlines? Outlandish images? Inflammatory language?
    • Is what you're reading consistent with other known information?
  • Consult the experts.
    • Use one of the fact checking sites listed to the left to assist you with researching the claims made in the questionable news story.

The above tips were modified from Factcheck.org. See the full list here: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/11/how-to-spot-fake-news/ . See links with more tips for spotting fake news on the left hand side of the page.

Understanding Context

Watch the video below on the importance of understanding context.

Identify News Neighborhoods

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