Social Media OPSEC

Spotting Fake News

What is Fake News?

Fake news is fabricated information, which mimics news media content in form, but not in organizational process or intent. It overlaps with other information disorders, such as misinformation (false or misleading information) and disinformation (false information that is purposely spread to deceive people). In order to be media literate, you need to be aware of other questionable sources of information.

How to Spot Fake News

  1. Consider the Source:
    Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
  2. Do a quick search on the author.
    Are they credible? Are they real?
  3. Check the Date:
    Reposting old news stories doesn’t mean they’re relevant to current events.
  4. Check your Biases:
    Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.
  5. Read Beyond:
    Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What’s the whole story?
  6. Supporting Sources?
    Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.
  7. Is it a Joke?
    If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure.
  8. Ask an Expert:
    Ask a librarian or consult a fact-checking site.