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"Fake News" - Identifying and Checking

This guide is intended to remind a media user to check the veracity of news before spreading or forwarding.

Be sure to consult a sister guide:  Information and Media Literacy for the basics of evaluating articles and websites.

Although “fake news” is not new, today fake news is more widespread and pervasive because the technology exists to easily replicate and disperse any piece of communication.  More than half of all web traffic comes from bots, so there may not be a person actually sending news. (Zelfman)  The fake messages are  more sophisticated--no spelling errors, no obvious arguments that the content is not false, and authorship is globally ubiquitous.  To avoid forwarding a fake news item or emotionally reacting to a fake news podcast or video,  take time to examine for the biases--the hidden agenda.  Check.  A healthy skepticism helps combat "fake news'.

                Included in this guide are some websites that fact-check and some points to consider when evaluating.     

          

Zelfman, Igal.  “Bot Traffic Report 2016”.  Imperva Incapsula Blog. https://www.incapsula.com/blog/bot-traffic-report-2016.html

 

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