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Fake News: Avoid Fake News

Fake news is often shared more widely than actual news. Learn how to identify fake news.

How to Choose Your News

Tips to Avoid Fake News

  • Check the source - is it a .com? .org? .edu? or .gov? Is the source from a Google search or did you use an academic database?
  • Use the TRAAP test - Timeliness, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose
  • Check the claims in the article. Can you follow up with them using reputable sources?
  • Question everything. Does the site have ads? Is the source from a think tank or nonprofit that has a stake in the subject of the article? What's the author's background?
  • Check any links in the article.Do they actually lead to information that verifies something in the article?

More Tips for Fact Checking and Avoiding Fake News

  1. When you open up a news article in your browser, open a second, empty tab.  Use that second window to look up claims, author credentials and organizations that you come across in the article.
  2. Fake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images.
  3. As Mad-Eye Moody said in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Constant Vigilance!"  Always be ready to fact check.
  4. Even the best researchers will be fooled once in a while.  If you find yourself fooled by a fake news story, use your experience as a learning tool.

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