Fake News

In this day and age, there's a lot of talk about "Fake News" and "Alternative Facts." Before you fall into the rabbit hole, ask yourself these questions...

 

What is the source?
Look at the About Us section and check out other stories by this source. Conduct a search to see how this source is reviewed by other outlets.

Who is the author?
Check out the author's bio and the type of stories they've written previously.

What is the story?
Don't just read the headline. Some sources use outrageous headlines to gain attention.

Can this information be verified?
Look at other news sources and do a little digging to see if the facts pan out.

When was this written?
Look at the date to determine if the article is current.

Could this be a joke?
There are a lot of satire sites and articles out there. Check to see if this site or author is known for writing parody-type articles.

Is there an obvious bias?
Certain publications and authors make a point of appealing to a certain ideaology. Look for evidence of bias and weigh the opinions against the facts.

Fact Checking Resources

FactCheck.org
A nonpartisan, nonprofit site whose aim it is to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

Snopes.com
This site began as an effort to debunk urban legends and myths and has become the go-to site for rumor research.

AmericanPressInstitute.org
The American Press Institute is curating its page of timely questions and vetted resources for fact checkers — along with their tips on how to navigate the data.

OpenSecrets.org
It's not exactly a fact-checking website, but this website from the Center for Responsive Politics does keep track of the money in politics. The site describes itself as "the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy."

Politifact.com
A project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners. It intends to "help you find the truth in politics... We research public statements and rate their accuracy as True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire." In 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

TruthOrFiction.com
This site says of itself, "Get the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails."

Reverse Image Search
Google tool that allows you to see where else the image has been posted online. Click on the camera icon in the search bar. You have the option to upload a picture, or paste the link to a picture in the box. 

Your Local Library
Ask for help from the experts!

Seeing is NOT believing
Photoshop and other image manipulating software make it easy to alter photos and create fake screen shots. Before you retweet or share that picture of a 3-headed deer, use your information literacy skills to determine if you're looking at a real, unaltered image.

If you would like someone from the library to come and speak with your class or civic organization about information literacy, please contact Tammy Blackwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..