Real v. fake news: can you tell the difference?
The country has been bombarded with “fake news” and “alternative facts” this past year. After an unprecedented presidential election, in terms of social media and its impact, how can you tell the difference between what’s fact and what’s fiction? Now that we’ve gotten used to headlines that read like supermarket tabloids, how can you be sure what you’re reading is accurate, and not the product of the extreme right or left?
Here are some suggestions to verify the accuracy of the article you’re reading – before you pass it on.
- Does the subject of the story and language used upset you? Does it challenge your common sense? It may not be true.
- Does the URL look strange – something you’re not used to seeing? The “com.co” on an otherwise authentic-looking website is a red flag.
- Google the names of the writers and people in the article to see if they’re legitimate.
- Are other news sites reporting the same story? If so, then it’s more likely real, not fake.
- Most importantly, have you fact checked the story? Use FactCheck.org or Snopes.com to verify what’s reported before repeating it.
Photo by Matthew G (Flickr)