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Media Literacy Unit: "Fake News"

What is "Fake News"?

Fake news is not news you disagree with.

"Fake news" is "fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. Fake news overlaps with other information disorders, such as misinformation (false or misleading information) and disinformation (false information that is purposely spread to deceive people)." [David M. J. Lazer, et al., "The Science of Fake News," Science 09 Mar 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1094-1096.].

What you can do about fake news:

  • Learn to recognize fake news sites. Be curious and actively investigate news stories.
  • Use news sources that are accountable for their content and that follow journalistic ethics and standards.
  • Use care before sharing news content with others on social media. Pause and reflect on news sources that arouse strong emotions, positive or negative.
  • Learn to recognize your own biases and compensate for them.

Ways to Spot Fake News

Video Transcript:

"Here are five ways to spot fake news:
Number one: Look for unusual URLS. If they end with l-o or, chances are they aren’t legitimate news sites. 
Number two: Dissect the Layout. Look for grammatical errors, incorrect dates, bold claims with no sources, and sensationalist images. These are all red flags. 
Number three: Dig Deeper. Find out who wrote the article and who supports the site. If this information doesn’t exist or you need to register to get it, then question why. 
Number four: Cross Check. Use fact checking sites to confirm information and see whether other credible news outlets are reporting similar news. 
Number five: Try a reverse Image search. If the same picture appears in unrelated stories,  you may have a reason to be suspicious. 
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