Eight ways to recognize fake news

Libraries work to uphold freedom of speech. However, under the guise of free speech, there is a lot of misinformation spread online and through media.

How do you sort out misinformation and fake news? Luckily, there are tools for this. Media literacy, i.e. being able to understand, adapt and critically review information, plays a central role in today’s information society. It is an essential skill that libraries work to develop.

The International Federation of Library Associations has put together a series of eight questions to ask yourself in order to recognize fake news. When in doubt, follow the following steps:

Consider the source

Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.

Check the author

Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?

Check the date

Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events.

Check your biases

Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.

Read beyond

Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?

Supporting stories?

Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.

Is it a joke?

It it is too ooutlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure.

Ask the experts

Ask a librarian, or consult a fact-checking site.

Infographic: IFLA