How to Identify Fake News

“Fake news refers to false news stories, hoaxes or propaganda created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers.  Usually, these stories are created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda, or cause confusion.  It can also be a profitable business for online publishers.”

How to spot fake news

  1. Be skeptical of headlines.
  2. Look closely at the link.
  3. Investigate the source.
  4. Watch for unusual formatting.
  5. Inspect the dates.
  6. Check the evidence.
  7. Look at other reports.
  8. Do some fact checking.

“There are many good websites, like Politifact.com, Snopes.com, and FactCheck.org that can help you verify a story.”  When I worked in a library, some librarians relied on Snopes.com for verification of rumors.

No matter your age, you or someone you know can benefit from an article in the Beacon.   Read the details of the article below on their website, https://thebeaconnewspapers.com or pick up a free copy in various places like libraries, senior centers, etc.   Beacon has more than 2400 distribution sites in Maryland and Virginia (Washington DC, Howard County, Baltimore MD, and Richmond VA).   They have a circulation of 400,000 per month.

Source: Miller, Jim.  “Identify Fake News; Don’t Send It to Others”, Baltimore Beacon, September 2019, page 5.  The Beacon in focus for people over 50 , P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD  20915, (410) 248-9101, email: info@thebeaconnewspapers.com.

Test Your Fake News Sensor

Pew Research Center has a quiz for you–see if you can answer all five questions correctly. Take the quiz at pewresearch.org/quiz.

“When Americans call a statement factual, they overwhelmingly also think it is accurate; they tend to disagree with factual statements they incorrectly label as opinion.”

Source: Foster, Margaret. Technology & Innovations. Links & Apps. “Test Your Fake News Sensor”, Baltimore Beacon, November 2019, page 5.  The Beacon in focus for people over 50 , P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD  20915, (410) 248-9101, email: info@thebeaconnewspapers.com.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin