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Evaluating News: What You Should Do

This LibGuide provides resources to help you identify fake news and evaluate news and disinformation.

What You Can Do to Stop the Spread of Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News.

There are many things you can do to stop the spread of misinformation or disinformation. Read this Reality Check Zine from MediaWise to learn more.

  1. Read and view content critically. Is it satire, hoax, or clickbait?

    • Stop sharing it.

    • Can you contact the source any other way besides email?

    • Beware if you see a post on social media that says that the social media company "keeps deleting this” or tells readers to  “make it go viral!”

      • Both statements are red flags that the post is not accurate.

      • These are two common tactics used to encourage people to make a post go viral.
  2. Share responsibly

    • According to a Columbia University study, 59 percent of people who shared links on Twitter never even clicked on the links to read what was in them.

    • Don't forward until you fact check. Pause before you post or share on social media.

    • Triangulate the information. Can you verify the information on other reliable sources?

  3. Think laterally, fact check, verify, think critically.

    • Do your own research. Don't take someone else's word for it.

    • Do not just dig deep into the site you are reading. Find out at what other sites and resources say about the source you are looking at.

    • Go to fact checking websites like the ones listed on this page to make sure it is true and not a hoax.

  4. Be aware of Photoshopped images. Be aware of deepfake videos.

    • Conduct a reverse image search.

    • Look and the images in the background. How are people dressed, look at the architecture, street signs, the sky, the time of day, text on signs.

  5. Conduct a Whois Lookup search to find out the owner of the domain name.

  6. If you see a friend share a blatantly fake news article or website, be a friend and nicely tell them it is not real. Your friend may not know it is fake.

How to Vet a News Source

Fact Checking a Video Post

Fact Checking an Image

Use these visual thinking strategies. Think about:

  1. What is going on in the image?
  2. What do you see to make you think that?
  3. What more can you find out about the image?
  4. Is anything out of place or does not look right?

Use these five step checklist to verify an image provided by First Draft.

Reverse Image Search

Why Do People Fall for Fake News and What To Do About It

Be Aware of Filter Bubbles

Why do you need to be aware of your online "filter bubble"?

The internet is being customized to each individual. Search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) results and news feeds are different for each user because search engines, news feeds, and websites track an individual's demographics, clicks, opinions, "friends", and interests. Your search history data is put into algorithms used by search engines. Then, when you search, they only provide you with search results and information they think you want to see. This "filter bubble" may distort your research because it limits the information you see. You may only see one side of an issue which may lead to confirmation bias. Filter bubbles will only show you information you agree with instead of showing you information from all sides.

How can you avoid your filter bubble when you are researching using the internet? Be constantly aware of your filter bubble. Search for information from all sides of an issue. Use the online research databases provided by the TRHS LMC instead.

Evaluating News and Information

  • Read the entire article carefully and pay attention to the website domain or URL and verify the information by reading laterally.

Lateral Reading

Who's Responsible for Fake News, You Are!

Fact Check Websites

Ways to Prevent the Spread of Fake News