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Spotting Fake News: Home

Tools and tips for identifying fake news stories.

Welcome

“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan

This resource was inspired and informed by the following guides:

How to spot fake news: Identifying propaganda, satire, and false information, SFU Library http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/research-assistance/fake-news#further-resources

The Story of Fake News: Resource Guide, Davidson College Library https://davidson.libguides.com/c.php?g=635016

Digital Literacy @ BCIT Library

How to Spot Fake News

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) created this infographic (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News). "Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and in social media networks. The more we crowdsource our wisdom, the wiser the world becomes. You can also check out FactCheck.org’s video based on the article."

Academia & Fake News

Interpreting Breaking News

Breaking news: Google bans cat pics on the internet! Apocalypse Meow! Two cats, one facing the camera, mouth open in surprise.

"'Whatever you might hear in the first couple of hours after a major news event, you should probably take it all with a grain of salt,' says Andy Carvin, senior strategist on NPR's [National Public Radio's] Digital Desk." WNYC's On the Media podcast producers have created the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, a nine-point checklist for evaluating the first reports of major events.

1) In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong. 2) Don't trust anonymous sources. 3) Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet. 4) There's almost never a second shooter. 5) Pay attention to the language the media uses. 6) Look for news outlets close to the incident. 7) Compare multiple sources. 8) Big news brings out the fakers. And photoshoppers. 9) Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.

Breaking News Consumer's Handbook description:

On the media:

  1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
  2. Don't trust anonymous sources.
  3. Don't trust stories that cite another new outlet as the source of the information.
  4. There's almost never a second shooter.
  5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.
    1. "We are getting reports"... could mean anything.
    2. "We are seeking confirmation"... means they don't have it.
    3. "[News outlet] has learned"... means it has a scoop or is going out on a limb.
  6. Look for news outlets close to the incident.
  7. Compare multiple sources.
  8. Big news brings out the fakers.  And photoshoppers.
  9. Beware reflexive retweeting.  Some of this is on you.