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 Risa on Thu, 06/08/2020 - 15:42

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. 
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Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 12:27

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.

Submitted by NANAKA on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 09:00

Yes, I have read some fake news stories online and take it too seriously. These days, I saw that some shops are badly affected by false rumors of people infected with COVID-19. It's impossible to crack down on everything people post online.When did Japanese people become so stupid? One should exercise caution when sharing information on the internet. Once you upload something on the internet, you can't completely delete it. Don't believe everything on the internet. Think in a calm manner, or else you'll make a mistake. Take care!!

Submitted by mahiro on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 05:10

I often fooled by fake news. I think that say opinion to easy in the internet. I think that this is bad thing and good thing. We can get information in a variety of ways. For example, there are instagram, twitter, and facebook. Of course, we can get information on TV and in the newspapers. We believe too much in the media. Because we don't research to face news and tend to make easy choices. We have to research a source of information. And I believe that this is a countermeasure. I hope you'll try it too.

Submitted by IKEDA on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 07:52

I've been reading a lot of fake news on social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, from terrible fake ones to humorous ones. As the fake news has more impact on societies increasingly compared to before, we have to be more careful about that. It could hurt crucially innocent people or societies by misunderstanding.
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Submitted by Fredd on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 18:29

Nowadays is easy to find fake news especially in Apps like Fb. Fake news bombard us everyday I believe that the best way to ignore this kind of things is looking for pages that can provided us useful information.

Submitted by ryota on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 11:43

I have read some fake news story online. Fake news has a great influence power. Sometimes, I have been deceived by fake news. For example, when it was disaster, news that zoo escape from the zoo came up on SNS. This news spread very quickly and made people uneasy. Recently, there was news that toilet paper couldn't be produced due to the influence of COVID-19. Many people buy a lot of toilet paper and many stores have run out of toilet paper. Later, both of these news find to be fake news. I'm worried about that fake news will trick many people from now on. Fake news confuses people. I think it is important to determine right news.

Submitted by Y on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 18:43

I have read a lot of fake news online. In today’s society, information networks are developing. And many people have own smartphone or computer. So fake news will spread. I often read fake news about celebrities and natural disasters. For example, celebrity scandals, big earthquake forecast and so on. The fake was said by one person will be spread throughout the world. It causes a lot of problems through SNS. People who read fake news believe it and tell other people. The action may make people bothered or anxious. I hope the fake news is gone.

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.
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