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Fake News and Misinformation

The term “Fake News” covers misinformation, disinformation, inaccurate reporting, satire and just plain made-up stories. Here are tips and resources to help you recognize it in newspapers, TV and social media.

IDENTIFYING FAKE NEWS

GETTING CONTEXT ON ISSUES

  • CQ Researcher
    This resource provides background for reporters—and you! In-depth coverage and analysis of current events with “Pro/Con” articles written and checked by experts. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide updates to the most popular subjects.
  • AllSides.com
    Reading about an issue from other perspectives can give you a better understanding. Allsides compiles articles from a variety of sources and evaluates them for bias towards the left, right or center. Read and decide for yourself.

FACT-CHECKING WEBSITES

How To Spot Fake News

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.
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