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How to Spot Fake News
"How to Spot Fake News." International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, 6 Mar. 2017, www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174. Infographic.
Fact-Checking & Bias Resources
an interactive news and educational site with a bias rating system intended to help news consumers see and understand different perspectives.
Media Bias Fact Check
Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News), founded in 2015, is an independent online media outlet dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices.
Fact-checking by the Pulitzer Prize-winning editors and reporters of the Tampa Bay Times.
one of the original fact-checking websites; covers urban legends, news stories and memes; sources cited
The Washington Post's Fact Checker
Provided by one of the most trusted, bi-partisan news sources; focuses on politics
Types of Unreliable News
- Satire: sources that use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule and false information to comment on current events. Many satire sites will clearly state that their information is satirical.
- Extremely Biased or Hyper-Partisan: sources that come from a particular point of view and confirm existing biases; many rely on propaganda, information taken out of context, and opinions distorted as facts.
- Clickbait: sources that provide generally credible content but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.
- Conspiracy Theory/Junk Science: sources that are well-known promoters and providers of conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and other scientifically dubious claims.
- Fake News: sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports; created purely for financial gain through online advertising; frequently created in countries outside the U.S.
What makes it unreliable?
It can't be verified. Links or sources included do not lead to sources outside of the site's domain or do not relate to the topic of the article.
Appeals to emotion. Unreliable news plays on feelings to ensure you won't be skeptical of its contents.
No expert opinions or cited sources. Authors of articles aren't experts with credentials or journalists and expert are not consulted. You may not see an author's name at all.
It can't be found anywhere else. Look up the claim or idea in a known, reputable news source. If they're not reporting it, it's probably untrue.
Fake news comes from fake sites. Do you recognize the website address? If it looks weird or unfamiliar (like abcnews.com.co), it's probably unreliable or downright false.
What makes it reliable?
- Publication Reputation and/or Bias: publication or website is well-respected and provides factual, fair, and balanced reporting.
- Relies on Facts: does not appeal to emotion but factual events and information that is readily available and verified.
- Cites Sources: article provides (current) links or citations for sources used.
- Not Unique: article provides information or ideas that can be confirmed by other reputable sources.
Journalism Code of Ethics
- Seek truth and report it. Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information.
- Minimize harm. Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues, and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
- Act independently. The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
- Be accountable and transparent. Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one's work and explaining one's decisions to the public.