Fake news has been plaguing the headlines for years. But since the internet has made viral a thing, false news has been able to spread faster than fact checkers can warn people of the fallacies.
To help prevent you from believing the most absurd stories, here are ways to check whether a story is fake or true.
Don’t Trust Donald Trump
The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2017
The President of the United States of America might call many publications like The New York Times fake news on his personal Twitter account, but he is unfortunately not always a reliable source himself. What Donald Trump considers as FAKE NEWS is more along the lines of unfavourable news or opinion pieces.
Check The Website
Sites like News24, The Huffington Post, and yes even The New York Times are reputable news site that wouldn’t usually post false news. You can check news sites’ social channels to determine whether they are legit, as these will usually be verified and have thousands, if not millions of followers and fans.
Sometimes fake news sites could look identical to trusted and popular news sites, but be sure to check that you visit the correct site and not a fake duplicate.
Look At The Ads
Although many of us like to block out ads, these could be useful to indicate whether a website is a trusted source or a fake news site. If most of or all of the ads feature porn or headlines like “You Won’t Believe What This Child Star Looks Like Now” then it’s probably not a very reliable source.
If a news article or fact is true then it would probably have been reported on by more than one publication. But be aware because even fake news is able to go viral.
Don’t Be Gullible
It’s easy to become caught up in the hype of something, especially sensationalised fake news. Stick to that old advice your mom gave you: Don’t believe everything you read. Just because something was published doesn’t make it true, and on the internet it’s very easy to fool people with fake news. Be sure to always question anything you read on the internet and use your common sense to know when something is obviously fake news.
Know Fake News Sites
There are sites dedicated to fact-checking and sussing out which websites create and spread fake news. If you’re unsure about a specific piece of news you can use on of these websites to check whether the news is legit or whether it’s fake news.
- Washington Post Fact Checker
- Melissa Zimdars’ List Of Fake News Sites
- On The Media Fake News Handbook
- Poynter’s Tips For Debunking Fake News
- TinEye Reverse Image Search
There you have some of our tips to help yourself from being fooled by a false news story or site.
Which fake news stories have you fallen for in the past? Drop us a comment in the comment section below.