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What's Wrong with Fake News?
Why should you care about whether or not your news is real or fake?
- You deserve the truth. You are smart enough to make up your own mind--as long as you have the real facts in front of you. You have every right to be insulted when you read fake news because you are, in essence, being treated like an idiot.
- Fake news destroys your credibility. If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
- Fake news can hurt you and a lot of other people. Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com help perpetuate myths like HIV and AIDS aren't related or that vaccines cause autism. These sites are heavily visited, and their lies are dangerous.
- Real news can benefit you. If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely. If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs. Fake news will not help you make money or make the world a better place, but real news can.
Known Fake, Parodic, and Misleading News Sites
The Daily Dot Fake News Sites List
NOTE: This list is not exhaustive and may be updated at any time. It is a compiled list of fake news sites to watch out for on Facebook.
False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical "News" Sources
This is Professor Zimdars' original list and criteria with updates and addenda.
The Borowitz Report
From humorist Andy Borowitz, this is a column parodizing and commenting on current news trends.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Mercola is a doctor of osteopathy who has frequently been targeted by the FDA for promoting false, misleading, and even dangerous medical advice. His site promotes products, and his blog includes false and/or misleading information about medical topics.
This is one of America's premier parodic news sites.
What Can I Do to Avoid Fake News?
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 CRAAP test - Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority and 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?
Fact Checking Links
A product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, this site is terrific for checking up on political claims.
This is a professional networking website where you can look up the authors of articles and books to see if they're credible.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact researches the claims of politicians and checks their accuracy.
One of the oldest debunking sites on the Internet, Snopes.com focuses on urban legends, news stories, and memes. They also cite their sources at the end of each debunking.
The Washington Post Fact-Checker
While focused primarily on political facts, it covers specific claims in-depth and with plenty of cross-referencing.
The News Literacy Project Facebook Page
This is a nonprofit whose purpose is to provide tools and resources to middle and high school students (and their classrooms) on media literacy.
The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute develops resources for journalists and writers plus offers resources on fact checking and media literacy for the general public.
Information on the Avoiding Fake News page has been adapted from:
Niagara County Community College. Henrietta G. Lewis Library. 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd., Sanborn, NY 14132 | 716-614-6786