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Fact Checking and Media Literacy

Tools for discerning the reliability of news and information.

Quick Tips for Spotting Fake News

The term “Fake News” covers misinformation, disinformation, inaccurate reporting, satire and just plain made-up stories. Here are eight simple steps you can take to help determine the accuracy of a particular news item. From the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) "How to Spot Fake News" infographic.

  • Consider the Source
    Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
  • Read Beyond
    Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?
  • Check the Author
    Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?
  • Supporting Sources?
    Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.
  • Check the Date
    Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events.
  • Is it a Joke?
    If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure.
  • Check Your Biases
    Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.
  • Ask the Experts
    Ask a librarian or consult a fact-checking site.

Video: "Spotting Fake News"
This three minute video by FactCheck.org puts the issue into a nutshell.

Fact-Checking Websites

How do we check the fact checkers? A credible fact checking website should include a clear account of their process and name credible sources for cross-checking.

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