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How to Spot Fake News

Is there an author? Check out their credentials.


Click on links or check with official sources. Do they support the story?


read beyond the headline


Consider the source


Supporting sources?




is it a joke?


check your biases


ask the experts

Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. Whats the whole story?

If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the source to be sure.

Consider if your own beliefs or concerns could affect your judgment.

Ask a Librarian, or consult a fact checking site or official source like the WHO.

Look before you share!

Don't share post or stories that you haven't checked out first!

What’s the support? Many times these bogus stories will cite official (or official-sounding) sources, but once you look into it, the source doesn’t back up the claim. Do others agree? Are any other sites reporting this? What sources are they citing?

Satire offers political and social commentary, using exaggeration, irony, humour, allegory*, sarcasm or ridicule to make a point. *The Oxford English Dictionary defines “allegory” as a “story, picture, or other piece of art that uses symbols to convey a hidden or ulterior meaning, typically a moral or political one.”

This can be difficult. Confirmation bias leads people to put more stock in information that confirms their beliefs, and discount information that doesn’t. But the next time you are automatically appalled at some Facebook post concerning, say, a politician you oppose, take a moment to check it out.

Consult fact checking sites such as: https://fullfact.org/ Full Fact - Full Fact is the UK's independent fact checking organisationGovernment figures projected that the yearly area of afforestation in the UK will decrease from 13,300 hectares in 2021 to 7,500 hectares by 2025....Full Fact https://www.factcheck.org/ FactCheck.orgA Project of The Annenberg Public Policy...FactCheck.org https://www.snopes.com/ Snopes.comThe definitive Internet reference source for researching urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and...Snopes Or check official sites such as: https://www.gov.uk/ Welcome to GOV.UKSkip to main content We use some essential cookies to make this website work. We'd like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK,...Www https://www.bbc.co.uk/ BBC - HomeThe best of the BBC, with the latest news and sport headlines, weather, TV & radio highlights and much more from across the whole of BBC...BBC

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Be skeptical of news that lacks clear bylines, or includes suspicious or satirical bylines or author names.

If a provocative headline drew your attention, read a little further before you decide to pass along the shocking information. Even in legitimate news stories, the headline doesn’t always tell the whole story. But fake news, particularly in efforts to be satirical, can include several revealing signs in the text.