What is Fake News?
“Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word.”— PolitiFact
Fake news is a type of completely made up and deliberately spread story, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and to attract maximum attention and, with it, gain revenue or political gain.— The Guardian
Fake News is NOT:
- New–it’s been around since the advent of printing.
- News you disagree with.
- News that paints someone who you admire in an unflattering light.
- Satire (see below.)
How to Spot Fake News
- Some sites are upfront about publishing satire, e.g. The Onion, Borowitz Report, ClickHole. Check the “About” section of a site if unsure.
- Avoid sites that end in “.com.co” and “lo”; these are more often than not entire fake news sites.
- Be aware of promoted or sponsored posts– companies have paid for these to appear on social media feeds, websites, and even Google searches.
- If a story elicits a strong emotion response, read on! Shocking headlines (clickbait) are often designed to stun readers into sharing them without fully reading the article.
- Use multiple sources to fact-check stories.
- MPPL Fake News program presentation: May 2, 2017
- Guide to Fake News: Albuquerque Public Library
- FactCheck.org: fact-checking website #1
- PolitiFact: fact-checking website #2
- Snopes: fact-checking website #3
- AllSides: “…provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.” –from website
- Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot: some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts
- 25 Fake News Sites Found on Facebook: compiled by Dr. Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College
- The News Literacy Project: “…sort fact from fiction in the digital age.” –from website
- 12 Examples of Native Ads (And Why They Work): “…paid content that drives traffic to that content.” –from article
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