Thursday, December 02, 2021

Fake news: 8 tips on how to distinguish it from the real thing

How to spot fake news.

By: AP |
February 13, 2017 12:33:35 pm
fake news, US elections fake news, fake news facebook, spot fake news, how to spot fake news, fake news online, fake news websites, US elections, donald trump, hillary clinton, world news Students in a journalism course at Kean University watch a presentation on fake news. (AP Photo)

Teachers from elementary school through college are instructing students on how to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to online news, after an election season that saw made-up stories abound. As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump ” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Some of their media literacy lessons:

* URL look odd? That “com.co” ending on an otherwise authentic-looking website is a red flag. When in doubt, click on the “contact” and “about” links to see where they lead. A major news organization probably isn’t headquartered in a house.

* Does it make you mad? False reports often target emotions with claims of outlandish spending or unpatriotic words or deeds. If common sense tells you it can’t be true, it may not be.

* If it’s real, other news sites are likely reporting it.

* How is the writing? Caps lock and multiple exclamation points don’t have a place in most real newsrooms.

* Who are the writers and the people in the story? Google names for clues to see if they are legitimate, or not.

* What are fact-checking sites like Snopes.com and FactCheck.org finding?

* It might be satire. Sometimes foolish stories aren’t really meant to fool.

* Think twice before sharing. Today, everyone is a publisher.

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