You are here

How to spot fake news

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!

Discussion

Download

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

My mom always share fake news that other people sent her, I going to share these tips with her. I read news on twitter from big organisations, but when I am interested in a specific news I read both sides of that news for example what say the blue newspaper or what say the other part to find the balance and create a better opinion.

Good evening
yes, fake news is the recent phenomenon at the moment , its one of the negative sides of social media and websites but actually i don't fall in there tricks ever _ thanks god_ not because i am genius or because i used these tips that mentioned in the text... the main reason that is saving me from fake news that i am not addicted to range of websites as well as i am not active follower to any pages or social media platforms , i am still in love with reading books, real books made with real papers not reading infront the screen.
on the other hand i choose carefully the websites that would be useful to my purpose and i avoid any distraction tools such as notifications , alerts and buzzes.

finally i would thanks you for this text because these tips are very helpful, your effort educators is obvious.
best regards

It is not usual for me to see false news but when I see them I easily fall into them, because I easily believe what is said there, of course it is worrying for me because I fall into their trap quickly.

I have read fake news. It doesn't bother me much because I am not interested in politics.

We should be careful about what we share on social media, we have a lot of fake news every day.

I have seen so many Fake news on social medias and different websites. as far as I could I have never released this news.

I've never seen fake news online.I'm not willing to see SNS and other information resources online.My resoure is official site and reliable site only.

nice helpful

I have ever read some fake news and it made me confuse. I know that every news article may not be a fact, but I sometimes accept online news too easily. So, I 'm trying to search a lot of online news article. I think not only online news but also TV news is convey fake news and information, because it's possible to do media manipulation. We should take a lot of information from some kinds of media like newspaper, radio, internet, SNS and TV. Then, we think the information that we need the most. Also, it is important to have own opinion and thought. I still think about how to get along media and want to be careful. 

I read a lot of fake news recently. Sadly but my motherland became a victim of another country. Many people have died (and still die) trying to protect our country from occupants. Of course, such a situation impossible without tons of fake news. And we have them tons of tons. Some of them look like the real ones and many people in my country believe in them which makes the situation even worse.
Our last election has also been covered with the mud of fake news. Most of them were produced in our enemy-country and it made a huge impact on the election's result. Sadly, but lots of people in my motherland can't separate the fake news from the real information.

Pages