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.
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.