Sensational stories that align perfectly with your pre-conceived notions about a topic are likely just fuel for the outrage machine. Here’s how to make sure you’re what you’re sharing is legit.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between fact and fake news, but there are a few things you can look for to help determine whether a news story is credible or not:
- Check the source: One of the most important things to look for when trying to determine the credibility of a news story is the source. Reputable news organizations, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the BBC have a long history of accurate reporting and are generally considered credible sources. On the other hand, if a news story is coming from a source you’ve never heard of or that has a history of publishing inaccurate or biased content, it’s probably best to be skeptical.
- Check for evidence: A credible news story will typically include evidence to support the claims made in the story. This can include quotes from credible sources, data, and statistics. If a story doesn’t provide any evidence to support its claims, it’s likely to be fake news.
- Check for multiple sources: A credible news story will typically be reported by multiple sources. If the story you’re reading is the only place you’re seeing it, it’s likely to be fake news.
- Check for tone and intent: Reputable news organizations strive for balance and impartiality, while fake news often has a clear bias or agenda.
- Check the date: Some fake news articles use old information and present it as new, so always check the date of the article.
- Fact-checking websites: There are many fact-checking websites such as FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, and PolitiFact.com which can help you determine the accuracy of a news story or claim.
It’s important to remember that fake news can be spread across multiple platforms and by many different people, so even if a story is coming from a reputable source, it’s still important to fact-check the information.