How to Recognize Fake News

Sometimes it is relatively easy to recognize fake news, but sometimes it is necessary to do a little work to determine whether a news story in print, online, or on social media is real news or not.

Your librarians can help you to evaluate your sources, but the strategies listed below can help you recognize fake news.

The following are a few tips from your Library on how you can determine in your research and in real life to find out if what you are reading actual fact.

  • If a news story looks legitimate, check other news sources to see if the story is carried there too.
  • If a news story seems unlikely, check it against a reliable source.
  • If a news story seems overly dire or scary, check it against a reliable source.
  • If a news story is based on a survey, statistic, or poll, check the source to see if it is reliable.
  • Check the website – Click on “about us” or “who we are” to get more information on the source.
  • Check the URL – sometimes a different extension or a minor difference in spelling will indicate an unreliable, unscrupulous, or satirical website.
  • Check the URL – a typo or misspelling can take you to an entirely different website.
  • Try to get your news from a variety of sources you know to be reliable. If you know one or more additional languages, try to get your news from those perspectives as well.

When in doubt, check with a librarian.