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Media Literacy Guide: Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News

Determining what is fake news is necessary and can be difficult. This research guide's purpose is to explain steps for finding the facts, how to use one's judgment and give examples for clarification.

What Makes a News Story Fake?

  1. It can't be verified   A fake news article may or may not have links in it tracing its sources; if it does, these links may not lead to articles outside of the site's domain or many not contain information pertinent to the article topic.

  2. Fake news appeals to emotion: Fake news plays on your feelings - it makes you angry or happy or scared. This is to ensure you won't do anything as pesky as fact-checking.

  3. Authors usually aren't experts: Most authors aren't even journalists, but paid trolls.

  4. It can't be found anywhere else: If you look up the main idea of a fake news article, you might not find any other news outlet (real or not) reporting on the issue.

  5. Fake news comes from fake sites: Did your article come from or These and a host of other URLs are fake news sites.


Fake News

File:How to spot fake news.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

SIFT method for evaluating information in a digital world

Where to check questionable news

Fake News Watch - list of fake/hoax news websites, satire websites and clickbait websites

List of fake news websites from Wikipedia

Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors

Play Fakeout

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