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Fake News, Misinformation & Propaganda: Identification

This guide provides quick access to relevant resources on Fake News, Misinformation & Propaganda

How can I tell if the news is Real or Fake?

With the growth of fake news and websites using sensational headlines such as clickbait, it can be hard to tell if a news piece is real or fake. Evaluating your sources is an important skill. This will help you not only as a student in your program, but also in life. Being able to critically assess a news or other information piece will help you determine if you need to take action on the information you read or if you should look to another source. Keep in mind too, that we all have confirmation bias, which makes us more likely to believe sources that confirm our feelings on a topic.

Here are some steps you can take to help you determine if it is fake news or not:

General strategies:

•Read critically before sharing

•Check for sources – no sources should be a red flag

•Recycled stories – just another form of clickbait

•Be mindful of slant and your own biases – is the source right wing or left wing

•In doubt? Look it up in another source

•Can you confirm accuracy by details in pictures or other information

Also consider:

•Who are they? Can you use other networks to confirm?

•How many posts/tweets? How many followers/likes?

•Can you determined where they are? Are they posting in real time?

•Do they reply when you contact them?

(University of Texas Libraries, 2017)

How to Spot Fake News - FactCheck Video

This quick video (3 minutes and 22 seconds) provides strategies to help identify if a source is real or fake. Closed captioning is available.

FactCheck. (2016, December 8). How to spot fake news [Video]. Retrieved from

How to Spot Fake News - Washington Post Video

This short 2 minute video provides you with 5 steps you can take to help determine if your news is real or fake. Closed captioning is available.

Akhtar, M. (2016, November 16). How to spot fake news [Video]. Washington Post. Retrieved from

How to Spot to Fake News

(International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2017)

Licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0