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How to distinguish fake news from real news
In the last few years, fake news has exploded online. When you scroll through your social media feeds, you are bombarded with articles, photos and videos trying to tell you something. It is so easy for anyone to publish anything online and, with the likes of social media, it’s even easier for fake news to spread in just minutes… But how can you spot fake news? The next time you read online news, ask yourself the following questions:
What’s the source?
Check if the article has been published by a trusted and reliable news outlet or source. Some websites are known for making unproven claims and publishing clickbait.
Who wrote it?
Look for the author’s name. Are they a reputable journalist, and what else have they written previously? Some fake news can even be written by authors who are in fact not real people.
When was it written?
Sometimes, unreliable articles use old information from years ago that have no direct link to current events. Check the date of the events described.
Have you read the full story?
Fake news will often have a provocative headline to stop you scrolling and get a reaction. Read beyond the headline before making a snap judgement and accepting it as fact. If you read the whole article, it might contain context that actually contradicts the headline.
Have you read around the topic?
Check if the news has been published by other news websites. Reading more than one article means you will get more than just one perspective on a topic. One article may conveniently leave out important details to send a particular message. In in doubt, you can always use a fact checker.
What are the references?
Facts and figures often come from external sources that may be linked in the article. Check if they are real and credible.