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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

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Yes, I have. But I started in the nearly past to not share them. Social media and chatting apps are excellent sources of that. The worrst I could see was how some of my relatives believe that. I know tha case of my uncle who was afrid of get vaccinated against Covid-19, when he is a university proffessor. I could not believe that. Another case I have preceived is the political fake news. Far right is using it every time with most frequency and this is a harm for democracy. Excellent article and thanks for sharing.

Yes, I have. I read a fake news story last year. It was about the source of covid-19; this illness was created by a development government to do the third word war, and suddenly I thought "That's fake news story". Nobody can talk about the source of the outbreak covid-19 because it has no sense (at least for me; it is my personal opinion)

Yes, sure.
Nowadays, it’s quite normal to read fake news, which is like a virus because it spreads all over the world.
I considered is an unsafe situation due you don’t know if the information that you are reading is completely real, and that could be dangerous. For that reason, it’s important read the news in a good and honest source.

Yes I have found a lot of fake news or information on SNS or websites. when I was young I usually believed what they said but getting old, I came to know how to recognize fake news and I also stopped using SNS so much that I I don't need to see a lot of information of anything. For myself I don't worried it but For the world it's big problem. hopefully things will be improved.

I have been reading fake news a lot. Every day people share fakes news on social media and sometimes we can't recognize which it is true . The article have gave us important advices.

Yes, some times I read so many fake news and stories on social media . The story is not true and completely fake.The fake story and mews makes me angry, sad and upset.
People who make these fake news stories must avoid and stop to create tension of human lives.

yes you are all right but it is big problem

Online exists so many fake news now. I have read fake news and I have thought that are real news because they seem real. I think that we have to be alert and ever to search the rela sources of the news.

Yes, I have read a lot of fake news, because nowadays, organizations, people, politicians are looking for people to believe them, but there are many of them who lie.

There is so much fake news that I usually double-check each one. It would be great to know how to fight against anything fake. Any ideas?

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