That’s no news that the internet is full of fake news. Brought into the general attention by the 2016 presidential election, this practice has been around ever since the launch of the first newspapers. It has become one of the plagues of social media as we know it today.
At the same time, you shouldn’t fear that you’ll become the victim of fake news. The only thing you need to know is how to tell fake news when you see it.
The Doe is a trustworthy anonymous source and was set up in retaliation to the fake news we see constantly nowadays. They produce quality journalism and provide excellent stories from anonymous sources that are fully verified – the opposite of fake news. They helped us out and aided us in creating this quick guide to identifying fake news. It may come in handy, so make sure you read it carefully.
Always Check The Source Of Information
If you come across news you’ve never read before, check out the About Us and the Contact sections of the website. More often than not satirical websites will bear a disclaimer.
The absence of these pages should raise a red flag, as reputable and trustworthy news outlets want their readers to be able to reach out to them.
The Doe is a place where articles can be shared anonymously, everything published is honest and verified.
Still in doubt? Search for the name of the website in Google or in your favorite search engine for that matter. If they have a reputation of publishing fake news, it will surely pop right away.
Don’t Trust A Headline to Share An Article
Shady websites use this click and bait technique to lure their readers to share their news. They create sensational headlines showcasing outrageous claims, with the intention of making you share the news without reading it first. Before sharing anything online, make sure you read the whole article to see whether it is really worth publishing on your wall or of sharing with your peers.
Sharing an article with a misleading headline on your social media channels will make your followers raise their eyebrows and perhaps even trust you less. Headlines that seem too outrageous to be true are probably false.
Check Out The URL Of The Web Page
If the URL looks strange, you should start suspecting you’re dealing with fake news. Fake news websites try to mimic the URL of reputable news websites, in their attempt to trick readers into spreading their outrageous articles.
Have You Read The Same News Of Other Websites?
More often than not the majority of news websites report the same story. If they do, chances are the story is true. If you can’t find it anywhere else, that’s a sign you may be dealing with something that’s not true.
Sloppy Writing Should Put You Off
If you see sentences or phrases ending in multiple exclamation marks or question marks, this is most probably some fake news you need to be careful about. Also, repeated grammar mistakes or spelling errors are telltale signs that the author isn’t a real journalist. Writing in caps lock is another hint that you may be reading a fake news article.
Reputable and trustworthy news sources hire professional editors and proofreaders, so they catch and fix most of these errors before publishing their articles.
The Absence Of Quotes
Professional journalists make use of quotes in their writing. This is a sign of trust and an invitation to their readers to research those individuals quoted on their own and see for themselves whether they can trust the information or not.
An article without quotes is usually nothing else than a biased opinion that’s suitable to appear on a blog, rather than in the news section of a reputable publication.
Make Use Of Media Literacy Websites
Before sharing an article that claims your favorite artists have only two more weeks to live, consider checking some of the biggest information sources in that industry to find out what they have to say. These large websites have the tools and the power to identify fake news and to publish only articles that are true.
Keep in mind that using only one of the above tips isn’t enough to spot fake news. You need to use all these methods together in order for this to work.
Don’t think that because you’re a reader you can share anything you want on your social media pages. You also have the responsibility of curating your shared content, in order to avoid spreading fake news.