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How to Identify Fake News — What is "Fake News"?

What is a "Fake News" and Why it is a Problem?

What is your role in the spread of news? If you choose to share a news item, or an image, or any other piece of information, what steps do you take before sharing? Do you take any? When fake news spreads, it is often helped along by people sharing it.

This guide will equip you with some strategies to help you decide when to share news and other type of information.

The guide will give you the tools to learn how to identify a story's authority, authenticity and reliability, so you can make an inform decision before sharing it and adding it to the circulation of news stories on the web.

Guide adapted from "Fake News," a guide developed by KT Lowe at Indiana University-East. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License/modified from original.

 

Constant Vigilance! is the Word!

  • As Mad-Eye Moody said in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Constant Vigilance!" Always be ready to fact check.
  • When you open up a news article in your browser, open a second, empty tab.
    • Use that second window to look up claims, author credentials and organizations that you come across in the article.
  • Fake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images. 
  • Even the best researchers will be fooled once in a while.
    • If you find yourself fooled by a fake news story, use your experience as a learning tool.
Use the tips throughout this guide to check claims that you find in your Facebook feed or Twitter. Remember, fake news articles may fall under multiple categories and might even mix in a few facts amid their falsehoods.