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!

Task 1

Task 2


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Submitted by Osuke on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 17:21

I have ever read fake news online. Some of the things I read were obviously lies and some were unclear whether true or not. Sometimes I have been fooled by a lie article. We can easily find various information by searching the internet. But not all are correct. After I realized that not all information on the internet was correct, I started to watch news on TV. I think that the information provided on TV news can be said to be reliable, so I think we should look TV news. Especially now COVID-19 is a serious problem, I try not to get wrong information.

Submitted by Wakana M on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 03:48

I have read some fake news stories online, and sometimes I have believed in them. Sometimes I could recognize them, sometimes I was fooled by them. I notice it is fake news every time I watch the TV and I talk with my family or friends. The fake news always confuses our mind. The internet is so easy way to search information. But we should be careful to use them because there is a lot of fake news. These days I’m trying to be careful using the internet. I think the most important thing to use the internet: don’t believe in articles on the internet too much. and also I want to be careful not to believe then too much.

Submitted by Riko on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 02:42

Nowadays, the COVID-19 is prevalent. I have read some fake news about this virus. For example, an article says there are many infected people in 〇〇 hospital. However, this was a fake news. I thought this is a true information and I didn't doubt it. When I realized this was a fake news, I was a little shocked. Fake news is the problem in this age. It is easy to read and spread. If we don't doubt any online news, we may become fake news spreaders. So, we have to be more careful for online news.

Submitted by Nanami on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 08:10

I've never read a fake news story online directly but I've seen that news programs often report about the spread of it. The fake news spread that the owner of the store died because of COVID-19 before. Actually he isn't dead but after that, sales of this store fell off. Spreading the fake information will be troubled unrelated people. It isn't easy to judge if the news is correct. But these days we can share information easily using SNS such as Twitter, so I think we often retweet before considering the correctness of the information. I will try to convey it to others after checking the four tips above.

Submitted by moonbaby on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 15:07

Hello, Fake News are stubit, who is with me?

Submitted by Blers on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 13:31

This Information about Fake News helped me a lot because i see fake news everyday. I think it is important to talk about it so everyone is clear about it and knows how to handle fake news.

Submitted by jaywest on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 12:04

I read about fake news almost everyday. I think everyone does. I know how to spot fake news and I have my methods... The article was quite helpful and i think many other people can approve of this. Have a nice day!

Submitted by yusuke on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 08:08

No, I haven't, I guess. Because I always feel it useful when I read some articles. But I really worry about fake news. There are lots of dangerous point in websites. For example, links are really useful but need to be careful to handle. You can jump to a site, but what if it is a fake and you are taken in trouble. This accident should be avoided. So, I always use website carefully.

Submitted by Ayaka on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 07:15

I have believed in fake news several times. It’s not easy for me to determine if the news conveys the right information, the wrong information, or the coverage that gives a particular image. But we need to get the right information. So I thought we had to make sure that the information was correct in many places, instead of believing it completely at once. In addition to that, I also thought about what purpose it was reported in such a way. After reading this text, I would like to get a lot of information so as not to be confused by fake news. That’s very important.

Submitted by senes19 on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 17:44

Yes of course I have many times read fake news. And it is almost right information which includes the passage's. And also I want to add that sometimes the governments may use this fake stories. Unfortunately this is a huge problem of each country. I am worried about this fake story. Because many people believe and trust these stories and they can't afford fakes desires. I have seen many example. Particularly the people who doesn't like to search and self-educate believe easily. And then they do what they say.