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Hot Topics: Fake News and Misinformation

Fact Checking Links

Is this misinformation?

Use these links to help you evaluate known stories on a variety of subjects. They can serve as examples of how people have attempted to research unclear, uncertain, false, misleading, or inaccurate claims.

Note: Do these sources have bias? Remember to corroborate what you find in fact checking sites as you would with other claims.

A Quick Trick to Help you Spot Clickbait, from TED-Ed

Test your wits with a set of hypothetical health studies and find out just how good you are at spotting clickbait.

Additional Steps to Identifying "Fake News"

Now that you're familiar with misinformation and the myriad types of "fake news," what are the basic steps you can take to identify misinformation?

Does the article make you feel very strongly about the subject?

  • Does it make you angry? Does it make you want to take immediate action and share the article? Take these responses as reasons to look deeper into the article. Fake or misleading news articles rely on our emotional responses to spread farther.

Do your diligence

  • Look up the site or source on lists of known fake news sites.

  • Does the article you've found list an author or authors? What are their credentials? Are they well respected? By whom? 

  • Read the "About Us" page. Who are the owners, writers, publisher, etc.? What are their credentials? Are they well respected? By whom? Who is affiliated with the organization? Note: This portion of the site may also identify it as satire.

  • What do you learn about the site/owner/author/publisher when you search them on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Wikipedia? 

Can you find the same topic covered by other, reputable news sources?

  • Do other reputable news sources portray the event in similar ways?

  • If it seems like big news but is the only source of coverage, take pause.

  • Can you identify strong bias? Any topic will likely be covered in a variety of ways, and taking this step will help you place the article in context.

Accuracy in Journalism

What should you expect from journalism?

Journalists often abide by shared principles, and often use checklists to ensure that each piece of reporting is reliable and high quality. These lists will give you a sense of what you can expect from a reputable news source.

Relevant Books

Read Widely

Books take time to be published, so most current information about "fake news" is available as articles or other news sources. However, books can provide excellent historical information about misinformation, disinformation, and the information society.

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