What is fake news?
Many news sources have a bias. However, fake news is any news story that has the goal of deceiving the reader to believe a story that is not true. It is important to know what is fake and true so that you can react accordingly. Fake news may influence your political stance, your hobbies, the food you eat, and what you watch, listen to, or read.
What is the intent of fake news?
Fake news stories are written with an an intent to deceive the reader, to convert the readers thinking, and/or for revenue.
What makes a news story fake?
1. It cannot be verified
2. Appeals to emotion
3. Author is unknown or not an expert
4. It cannot be found anywhere else
5. It comes from an untrustworthy site
How do I evaluate sites?
1. Many professionals are encouraging the CRAAP Method. CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.
2. Currency: Check the dates. It may be best to use up-to-date information.
3. Relevance: Evaluate if the information relates to a topic at hand and who it was written for.
4. Authority: Check the author and website credentials. For example, you could do this by searching for "About Us" on the website.
5. Accuracy: Can this information be verified? Check the sources within the article and see if similar articles were written.
6. Purpose: What was the goal of this article being written? Why does this information exist?
7. Look for bias. An article with bias may not be a completely fake story but it may not be telling the entire truth.
8. Does the website have a lot of advertisements? This may be a sign of clickbait.
9. Look at spelling and grammar of the website. Obvious errors may be a red flag.
10. Judge hard! If it is using language to appeal to your emotions, it may not be true.
How do I fact check using online websites?
FactCheck.org This project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.
Flack Check Political Literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. This site provides resources to help viewers understand and recognize flaws in political arguments and campaign ads.
Hoax-Slayer This site exposes email and social media hoaxes. This site also helps users become more educated about spam and Internet security issues.
Media Bias/Fact Check This site ranks global media sources by bias. You could submit a fact check request as well.
OpenSecrets This non-profit is the best source for tracking where candidates receive their money. This site also tracks funding provided by lobbying groups.
Politifact This Pulitzer Prize winning website fact checks U.S. politics.
Snopes This site addresses urban legends, folklore, rumors, and misinformation.
TinEye This site allows you to upload or provide links to images to find out the Internet history of that image. Often times, images are stolen and then misused (very common with memes).
Truth or Fiction This site focuses on debunking political rumors and hoaxes.
Is there anything else I could do?
You could add extensions to Google Chrome here. Extensions will appear near the top-right corner of your web browser (next to search), they will alert you when they are activated. Extensions are free unless noted otherwise.
Each extension will explain how it works.
Some educational sites have proven to be helpful in learning methods to evaluate news sources:
Remember that you could always ask the Librarians at Maywood Public Library District to help you determine if a website or article contains reliable information.