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Spotlight on Fake News Be a smart surfer!

How to spot fake news

Feb 08, 2017



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How to spot fake news

Spotlight on Fake NewsBe a smart surfer!

Fake news websites are websites that deliberately spread hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation. Fake News sites are different from satirical sites like The Onion, a humor-based website.Fake News stories usually spread through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Often, fake news will mimic real headlines and twist the story.What is fake news?

Erin 2


According to Pew Research, 38% of adults often get news online, either from news websites/apps (28%), on social media (18%) or both. And digital consumption of the news has grown.From Pew: 64% of adults feel that fake news causes a great deal of confusion.

Facts and Stats!


We say we see it, but can we spot it?


People Have shared fake news, either knowingly or unknowingly


So how can we avoid sharing fake news?


Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what to read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be protected against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

--Freedom to Read StatementAmerican Library AssociationKeep in mind


If you see a story, check who is reporting it. If its a mainstream source, chances are, its true. If its a site youve never heard of, be skeptical.

Check the source!


Check the URL

LizDo we want to add something about good urls? .org, .gov, .edu?10

Watch for Sensational headlines designed to intrigue surfers to view the article- whether its real or not!CLICKBAIT


Watch for headline and content typos. Watch for excessive punctuation!!!!!Watch for biased vocabulary. Example: Immigrants vs. IllegalsScrutinize the Text:


Can you click through or check a source referenced in an article?Have you ever heard of the source before?Does the website have an ABOUT section? Does the ABOUT section state a bias? Identify if you are reading a News Article or an Opinion PieceWho are the authors/journalists and what are their credentials?

Scrutinize the Source



A word about MEMES

A humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Your friendly neighborhood librarian wants you to fact check your memes.



There are three great fact checking sites you should be aware Checks everything from political news to viral stories. Pulitzer prize winning fact checking site. Fact checks politics and science stories.Fact Check Sites!


Dont just rely on one source- see if other sources report on the same thing. If your first source is lesser known, see if two mainstream sources report the same story.See if the source is an article or an opinion piece. If it is an opinion piece, seek out a news article on the subject as well. Check sources mentioned in opinion pieces to ensure they are reliable.See if its reported in a print source, like a newspaper.

Cross Reference


Google is a massive index that any person on the planet can contribute to

The library has databases and books: of sourced information.Masterfile:1700 periodicalsNewspaper Source: 40 international newspapers and 389 regional U.S. newspapersTopicSearch: 150,961 articles from 451 diverse sources.

The library also has reference librarians which are professional retrievers of information, and we generally love puzzles.When in Doubt: Go to the Library


How will you incorporate access to information into your lifestyle?Always on FB and Twitter? Follow some mainstream news sources.Have a device? Set up your news app so you get news straight from the source.READ beyond the headlineRead for context.Sharing news? Share directly from the source or cite the source within the comments section to back up your arguments and opinions.See who is saying what (Example:



Remember that information exists off of the internet as well.

The library has books on every topic if you would like to explore or add context to what you already know. (biographies, politics, opposing viewpoints)

Regional newspapers in house: Boston Globe, Union Leader, Eagle Tribune, Derry News, Nutfield News and the Hippo.

Strategize: Continued


Watch out for fake sites!

Dicker, Rachel, Avoid These Fake News Sites at All Costs US News and World Report Nov. 14, 2016, Accessed January 28th, 2017

1. Donald Trumps People quoteTime to play REAL OR FAKE?

FALSE- Fact check24

2. Hillary Clinton wears an ear piece!

False- Politifact26

3. Did a bong explosion burn a girl?

FALSE Snopes28

Presented by Liz Ryan and Erin Robinson