How to spot fake news

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!

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Submitted by Austin on Mon, 08/06/2020 - 07:30

I had read the news I think it's totally fake, I read that from Facebook someone posted it and then I clicked it, first the address is weird to link in other sites, second it's had so many ads, third the written is bad felt all information is a mess up. In my point of view, I think it is easy to recognize what is true I think just trust some official and well-known sites will be fine, no to the level of worried but feel annoyed.

Submitted by Wiola on Sun, 07/06/2020 - 13:31

In my point of view fake news are negative plague of information sharing. Especially dangerous in situations when a news concerns public relation aspects, for example accident in nuclear plant.

Submitted by mouna99 on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 19:23

Yes, especially when I am looking for courses..

Submitted by syah on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 10:02

Of course I really often read fake stories, especially on social media. But, at that time, I didn't really mean on them. Now, I realize that the fake stories really bothering me. They can make us to blame other people easily and drive peoples' opinion. So, we must be careful when we read or watch the news.

Submitted by soniagrajales on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 21:41

For these days specially I've read some fake news, yes. I'm worried about because there are people who believe everything they read and can easily get anxious or bad and also they share those news without confirming, making other people to get confused or bad too

Submitted by Muhammad Bagir on Tue, 19/05/2020 - 05:17

I've read a lot of fake news, especially when election time in 2019. Many of them ar contained hate speech, irrelevant data and information, and try to drive people's opinion.

Submitted by Mohamedakram16 on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 17:45

I often read some fake news on social media, especially facebook, and I don't really know why that news has been publied and what is its purposes, but I don't usually worry about it because I have already know that isn't true !
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Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 00:47

Yes. Was horrible because I shared that fake-news in a WhatsApp Group of the Colombian Red Cross and they scolded me.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 11:06

Yes. I had. Yes, I am.

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 04:34

yes i have read a lot of fake news ọn facebook. There are many pages and account posted fake information that is concerned about hot news to fool. Sometimes i only see pictures or title in that pages, i know its a fake information and i never share. Besides, when i watch film or listen to music on some websites, i see a lot of advertisement which is so interesting, it require user provide my email or account to participate their program but i don't care and i delete it.