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Fake News

Fact-Checking a News Sources

There are several things you can look for that indicate a news source that may not be trustworthy. Let's use the following article from a conspiracy website as an example.

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Look for:

  • Author - Check the author's credentials on sites like LinkedIn. Dr. Forti from the above article is a clinical psychologist, not someone with a background in the field she's writing about here.
  • Citations - Where is the author getting their information? If they can't or won't tell you, it might not be supported by actual research or evidence. Even professional journalists are expected to cite their sources.
  • Links - Follow through any linked references and read them as well. This author links to a Wikipedia article that doesn't even support her claims. Wikipedia isn't reliable, anyway, because anybody can edit it.
  • Words Taken Out of Context - It's easy to take a single sentence and use it to twist someone's words. If you can, find the context of quotations, especially short ones, to get a better picture.
  • Critical Thinking - Consider if some of the claims being made seem rational, or if they can be easily disproved. For example, if the US government is so adamant about hiding this information, how has this website remained active for years?