Read some tips for spotting fake news to practise and improve your reading skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

Every time you're online, you are bombarded by pictures, articles, links and videos trying to tell their story. Unfortunately, not all of these stories are true. Sometimes they want you to click on another story or advertisement at their own site, other times they want to upset people for political reasons. These days it's so easy to share information. These stories circulate quickly, and the result is … fake news.

There is a range of fake news: from crazy stories which people easily recognise to more subtle types of misinformation. Experts in media studies and online psychology have been examining the fake news phenomenon. Read these tips, and don't get fooled!

1. Check the source

Look at the website where the story comes from. Does it look real? Is the text well written? Are there a variety of other stories or is it just one story? Fake news websites often use addresses that sound like real newspapers, but don't have many real stories about other topics. If you aren't sure, click on the 'About' page and look for a clear description of the organisation.

2. Watch out for fake photos

Many fake news stories use images that are Photoshopped or taken from an unrelated site. Sometimes, if you just look closely at an image, you can see if it has been changed. Or use a tool like Google Reverse Image search. It will show you if the same image has been used in other contexts.

3. Check the story is in other places

Look to see if the story you are reading is on other news sites that you know and trust. If you do find it on many other sites, then it probably isn't fake (although there are some exceptions), as many big news organisations try to check their sources before they publish a story. 

4. Look for other signs

There are other techniques that fake news uses. These include using ALL CAPS and lots of ads that pop up when you click on a link. Also, think about how the story makes you feel. If the news story makes you angry, it's probably designed to make you angry.

If you know these things about online news, and can apply them in your everyday life, then you have the control over what to read, what to believe and most importantly what to share. If you find a news story that you know is fake, the most important advice is: don't share it!

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Intermediate: B1

Comments

lately the fake news about youtubers have been increasing it is a kind of joke for teenagers,but I am aware that a lot of people, espeacially old people, do not know who youtubers are, so they think that those news are real and share them,even people from the government have fallen in these fake news.

In my country we have a lot of these website , they want to make money for this fake news , they put in the website fake pictures of artistes or other people to create something for attracting people . So because i am professional in photoshop i see if the picture is fake or no .

Sometimes I read a fake news story online, but it happen to me more often that I read some news regarding politics (for example) and I realise that news is partial only after reading the same on an other site, with some details which weren't on the first site. In these cases we aren't talking of a fake news story, but of an unfair information.

Recently in Latin America, with the situation of The Amazon, many fake news have been being shared in the social media; magazines, youtubers, influencers, have manifested against the situation of the Amazon sharing photos from other websites or even from ancient natural disasters that show showed animals burned etc, something that most of the people are more sensitive about, and those photos just make the problem being seemed worse than it really is so that as we see them, we feel guilty and we end up donating for "help".
Also they are finding guilty among the politicians or companies just because it is matter of the different political parties, and also taking advantage of the ignorance of people about ecology.