How to Identify and Handle “Fake News”

It can be hard to know what’s real in the current media and news landscape. Learn a few ways you can determine what qualifies as fake news so you’ll know the facts!

It’s no surprise that the term “fake news” has become prominent. After all, “post-truth” was the 2016 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries! Unfortunately, the ability to detect what’s real and what’s fake has become more difficult in recent years. With people getting so much news from social media, it’s hard to know what’s really true.

But there are ways that you can determine what’s reliable and stop bad content from spreading. Share your tips for knowing the difference between real and fake news on your favorite family app!

What Is Fake News?

The term “fake news” is sometimes used to reference news that may be factual, but it’s actually a “real” thing! In fact, the term can correspond to two different types of news. Some fake news articles are completely fabricated while others may have elements of truth without being completely accurate.

Mistrust in the media and the political system has made it hard to know what the truth is. It’s more important than ever to know how to identify it as the free press is a pillar of democracy! Share why journalism is important to you on FamilyApp.

How Do I Tell Fake News From Real News?

It can be hard to discern what’s real and what’s fake in an age where many people get content from social media. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can assess how accurate something might be:

  • Think Critically – It’s easy enough to think that a National Enquirer headline isn’t believable. However, a lot of fake news examples are believable without being true! When an article elicits an immediate response from you, consider what the motive of the writer and website might be.
  • Consider the Source – Misinformation can come from anywhere these days with so many fake news sites on the Internet. Before relying on the source, determine if it’s a reputable news organization. If not, it’s possible that the claim may not be factual or even objective.
  • Look for Facts – A credible and well-researched news story should contain the who, what, when, where, and why. If much of this information is missing or the source is not identified, it may not be accurate. The story may also be fake if it’s not being reported by a reliable source. This tip also helps to tell whole fake news sites from trustworthy ones.
  • Does It Sound True? – It’s very easy for something to be believable without it actually being true, so this one is tough! A lot of ‘fake news’ can work to activate our personal biases. That’s why it’s important to be aware of our own point of view. Share your own findings on your favorite family app!

Is There Any Way to Stop Fake News?

There’s no doubt that fake news and misinformation is spread easily, particularly with the prevalence of social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter enable anyone to share stories or publish opinions that may or may not be accurate. While it is hard to identify what’s true from what isn’t, you can control your behavior when it comes to sharing.

Be sure that you are visiting and only spread reputable sites that have a history built on fact-checking and accuracy. It’s also important to be critical of what you read, especially if it corresponds to your opinions. Being aware of what we all share can help to limit the dissemination of inaccurate information!

The prominence of sensational headlines and fakes news websites in our culture is a significant problem, especially when it comes to political debates. However, free media serve a necessary function in a democratic society so it’s important not to give up on it! By considering your news sites and asking the right questions, you can be part of the solution.

Do you have any ideas for dealing with fake news? Share them with others in our comments. It may seem like clickbait is everywhere, but credible, well-researched journalism will always be around!

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