How To Spot Fake News

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Discussions about fake news has led to a new focus on media literacy more broadly, and the role of libraries and other education institutions in providing this.

When Oxford Dictionaries announced post-truth was Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realise action is needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking – a crucial skill when navigating the information society.

IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News) to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you. Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and on social media networks. The more we crowdsource our wisdom, the wiser the world becomes.

CONSIDER THE SOURCE

Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.

CHECK THE AUTHOR

Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?

READ BEYOND

Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What’s the whole story?

SUPPORTING SOURCES?

Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.

CHECK THE DATE

Reposting old news stories doesn’t mean they’re relevant to current events.

IS IT A JOKE?

If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure. 

CHECK YOUR BIASES

Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement. 

ASK THE EXPERTS

Ask a librarian, or consult a fact-checking site.