Click on the image for a printable PDF.
You can also use these same tips for evaluating websites, memes, social media posts, and more.
Try one (or more) of these fact-checking websites:
You can also find reputable news through some of the databases the library subscribes to. Just try searching for your news topic in the "Start Your Research Here" box on the library's home page.
The library also gets a number of physcial magazines and newspapers, which can be found on the top floor of the Scoville Learning Commons, near the reference desk.
Learn more about false news and how to spot it, as well as other related topics, such as post-truth, online advertisements, alternative facts, evaluating websites and information, online filter bubbles, misleading information, fake videos, and more.
Image source: http://libguides.bowdoin.edu/fakenews
You’ve seen memes - there are several on this page - probably on Facebook or some other social media platform. They can be entertaining, but they aren’t necessarily based on fact. Also, the picture and words don’t have to be related and quotes can be attributed to people other than who actually said them (take a look at the “Abraham Lincoln” meme, above). Try evaluating them the same way you would news or other information found online, using some of the suggestions in this guide, and think before you share them.
Why should you care about whether or not your news is real or fake?
There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.
No single topic falls under a single category - for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3) or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4.). Some articles fall under more than one category. Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not. It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.
Check out the presentation below for a few more ways to spot fake news. Try using a worksheet to help you evaluate sources. For more tips, see the fact-checking website.
Test your fake news detection skills with the links below!
Are the following sites credible, reliable, and suitable to use for college-level research? You be the judge!
If you have more questions, ask a librarian! We are here to help.
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