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Fake News

Tips for fact checking and avoiding fake news

  1. Avoid Fake NewsFake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images. Be prepared to double-check everything.
  2. Beware of confirmation bias.  Just because you might agree with what an article is saying doesn't mean it's true.
  3. Always be ready to fact check. If something feels wrong, double check with a different source or a fact-checking tool like Snopes.com.
  4. Be suspicious of pictures! Not all photographs tell the truth or unfiltered truth. Images are normally edited or processed, but sometimes they are digitally manipulated. A Google reverse image search can help discover the source of an image and its possible variations.
  5. Use the CRAAP test as a guide to help you think critically about the source of information.

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources

 

  • ​​ Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then package that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).
  • Watch out for websites that end in “.com.co” as they are often fake versions of real news sources. 

  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

  • Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.

  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.

  • Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).

  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.

  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.

  • If the website you’re reading encourages you to dox individuals (doxing is searching for and publishing private or identifying information about someone on the Internet, typically with malicious intent), it’s unlikely to be a legitimate source of news.

  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources not yet included in this list (although their practices at times may qualify them for addition), such as The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, vacillate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.

2016  by Melissa Zimdars. (Made  available  under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0  International  License.)

From http://www.wnyc.org/story/breaking-news-consumer-handbook-fake-news-edition/