Here’s how to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed
Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t make it true. It seems so simple, but if everyone knew that, Facebook and Google wouldn’t have to pull bogus news sites from their advertising algorithms and people wouldn’t breathlessly share stories that claim Donald Trump is a secret lizard person or Hillary Clinton is an android in a pantsuit.
First, know the different types of misleading and false news
1. Fake news
These are the easiest to debunk and often come from known sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real.
2. Misleading news
These are the hardest to debunk, because they often contain a kernel of truth: A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context. Look for sensational headlines that aren’t supported by the information in the article.
3. Highly partisan news
The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information — which may or may not live up to what was promised.
This one is tough, because satire doesn’t pretend to be real and serves a purpose as commentary or entertainment. But if people are not familiar with a satire site, they can share the news as if it is legitimate.
Second, Ask the below questions about the article:
1. Does the story come from a strange URL?
2. Does the headline match the information in the article?
3. Is it a recent story, or an old one that has been re-purposed?
4. Are the supporting videos or photos verifiable?
5. Does the article cite primary sources?
6. Does the story feature quotes, and are they traceable?
7. Is it the only outlet reporting the story?
8. Is your own bias getting in the way?
9. Has it been debunked by a reputable fact-checking organization?
10. Is the host on a list of unreliable news websites?
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