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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!



Language level

Intermediate: B1


Hey TalhaÖzkan!!

Well, I recommend you and everyone who sees your comment so as not to search for news on unknown websites. I recommend watching only that kind of "I suggested all the news" news on websites of recognized news channels like BBC, CNN, and all those major news companies. Also report these websites that recognize that they have some kind of fake news!! This would help many people to be well informed what is almost crucial today, I would even dare to say that for our mental well-being.

-Love, Ana

In social life, fake news will inevitably appear everywhere so I think people should clearly choice the story to read, support newspapers, magazines about the truth

Yes, I have. Sure, yes, they often have specific goals and usually have a negative impact on our lives.

I have noticed that there are plenty fake news to manipulate people. One of my friends was a victim of fake news. Person, who hated her, made up fake story with personal information on Facebook. Many people who did not the person nor my friend shared the post without any resources. It spread more than 500 shares in a day. She got depressed and still threatened by fear. Sharing a post does not cost time, but it could hurt someone. I am very concerning about this problem. We should get educated more about social media. It is the most important for us to look for a source before sharing or commenting.

for real i don't remember reading any fake stories but i think this problem is full of dangerous but i really don't care about it since i don't find the fake news at my social media or something

Have you ever read a fake news story online? Are you worried about this problem? Actually, the answer is yes.I have come across to this problem for some time. A very annoying example is when some very messages pop up while I am in my email text box that seems so real and they are not really of course. I may admit that I have been the victim of this problem for many years. Almost got scammed of the lottery winning ticket something that I had never done (think of doing in my life) while surfing for information .

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

One of the best comment i have ever seen on this site.Well done!

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.