How to: "Fake News"

December 20, 2016

With all the fake news stories circulating on the internet, it is important to be informed and understand how to spot when those stories aren't real. 

 

When you are reading a news story, it is important to take these steps to ensure what you are reading is truthful! 

 

1. Consider the source. Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.

 

2. Read beyond the headline. Headlines can be outrageous in effort to get clicks. Go beyond headlines.

 

3. Check the author. Do a quick Google search on the author. Are they credible?

 

4. Determine if sources support the story. Click those links. Determine if the subsequent info actually supports the story.

 

5. Check the date.

 

6. Consider that it might be satire. If it seems too outlandish, it might be satire. Do some quick research on the site and author to find out.

 

7. Check your biases.

 

8. Ask the experts. Ask a librarian, or consult one of the fact-checking sites outlined below.

 

Another good way to check if what you are hearing is right is to go to these fact checking websites: 

 

 

FactCheck.org – “A nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”

 

Snopes – Widely regarded as one of the web’s essential resources, Snopes is an online touchstone of rumor research.

 

PolitiFact – “A fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics.”

 

Washington Post Fact-Checker “The purpose of this website is to ‘truth squad’ the statements of political figures regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local.”

 

These are just some of the ways you can keep yourself informed about what is really going on in the world. If you are still unsure about what you are reading, you can always ask a librarian. We are trained to research! We are always happy to help you find out what you need to know. 

 

We would like to give credit to the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library for compiling this information. 

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