just because It’s online doesn’t make it right. It sounds so simple, but if everyone knew it, Facebook and Google wouldn’t have to Pull fake news sites out of their advertising algorithms Nor will people share stories claiming that Donald Trump is a secret lizard or that Hillary Clinton is an Android in a suit pants.
It doesn’t have to be this way. fake news It’s actually really easy to spot – If you know how. Consider this your new guide to media literacy.
Note: When we put this together, we sought the input of two communications experts: Dr.. Melissa ZimdarsAssociate Professor at Merrimack College in Massachusetts its dynamics List of unreliable news sites The virus has spread, and Alexios Manzarlispresident International Fact-Finding Network at the Poynter Institute.
First, learn about the different types of misleading and false news
1. Fake news
2. Misleading news
3. Too partisan news
Second, hone your fact-checking skills
For starters, here are 10 questions you should ask if something looks fake:
Zimdar says Websites with strange suffixes Such as “.co” or “.su”, or hosted by third-party platforms such as WordPress, should raise a red flag. Some fake sites, such as National Report, have names that seem legitimate, if not overly generic that can easily deceive people on social sites. For example, several fake reports from abcnews.com.co circulated widely before they were debunked, including an article in June that claimed President Obama had signed an order banning offensive weapons sales.
Mantzarlis says that one of the biggest reasons fake news spreads on Facebook is that people are drawn to the headline and Don’t bother clicking.
Just this week, several shady organizations published a story about Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi. “Pepsi stock crashes after CEO tells Trump supporters to ‘take their business elsewhere,’” declared one of the headlines.
However, the articles themselves did not contain this quote nor evidence that Pepsi’s stock experienced a significant drop (it wasn’t). Nooyi made recorded comments about Trump’s election, But it was never quoted He asks his supporters to “take their business elsewhere.”
sometimes Legitimate news stories can be distorted and brought to life After years of a wrong mixing of events. Mantzarlis recalls a false story that actually cited a legitimate story from CNNMoney.
A blog called Viral Liberty recently reported that Ford has moved production of some of its trucks from Mexico to Ohio due to Donald Trump’s election victory. The story quickly caught on the Internet – after all, it seemed like a big win for the domestic auto industry.
It turns out that Ford moved some manufacturing from Mexico to Ohio – in 2015. It has absolutely nothing to do with the election results.
Pictures and videos can also be out of context to support a false claim. In April, the liberal website Occupy Democrats posted a video purporting to show a young woman being pulled out of the bathroom by police because she didn’t look feminine enough. This was during the height of the HB2 “bathroom bill” controversy, and the article clearly linked them both. “IT BEGINS”, read the title.
However, there was no date on the video or evidence that it was filmed in North Carolina, where the “bathroom bill” was to be passed.
In fact, According to SnopesThe same video was posted on a Facebook page in 2015, which means it predates the HB2 controversy.
It is not only political news that can be fake. Now8News is one of the most famous but seemingly real fake websites that specializes in the kind of weird news stories that often go viral.
One such article claims that Coca-Cola recalled Dasani water bottles after an “obvious parasite” was found in the water. There was even a sickening accompanying image that allegedly showed the parasite, despite some basic Google searches Reveals that it is most likely a picture of a baby eel.
Regardless, the article was There is no statement or claim from any company. Obviously this is going to be a big story. Dasani or any number of consumer advocacy groups are going to publish data or news releases about it, right? There is nothing to be found – because the story is 100% fake.
One of the favorite memes of liberal Facebook groups contains a fake Donald Trump quote allegedly from a People Magazine interview in 1998:
“If I were to run, I would run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest bunch of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I can lie and they’ll still eat it. I bet my numbers would be great.””
This is one It can be easily debunked if you take a moment to think about it: People.com has extensive archives, this Quote Nowhere to be found Including.
During this election season, Pope Francis has been chained up in three hyper-pervasive and outright false stories. According to various (fake) websites, the Pope endorsed three US presidential candidates: First, Bernie Sanders, as “reported” by National Report and USAToday.com.co. Then, Donald Trump, as “reported” by fake news site WTOE 5 News. Finally, another fake news site KYPO6.com reported that it endorsed Hillary Clinton!
In all of these cases, the subsequent reports were all about the fake reports. It is always good to Trace the story back to the original sourceAnd, if you find yourself in an episode — or if they all lead to the same questionable location — you have reason to be skeptical.
Zimdar and Manzarlis say: Confirmation bias is a big reason Fake news like what you do. Part of that is built into Facebook’s algorithm – the more you like or interact with a particular interest, the more Facebook shows you that it’s associated with that interest.
Likewise, if you hate Donald Trump, you are more likely to believe that negative stories about Donald Trump are true, even if there is no evidence.
“We are looking for information that actually fits our deep-rooted beliefs,” says Zemdars. “If we come in contact with information we don’t agree with, it may reconfirm us because we will try to find errors.”
So, if you find a disgraceful article that feels “too good to believe,” be careful: it might be.
Did you know that there is actually a file International Fact-Finding Network (who leads Mantzarlis)? And that it has a code of principles? The Code includes the ideals of impartiality and transparency, among others. Sites like FactCheck.org, Snopes, and Politifact adhere to this code, so if you see a debunk there, you know You are getting the real deal. View the full list here.
This is the place Things can get tough. There is clearly a big difference between “fake” news, which is usually based on reality, and “fake” news, which is just disguised fiction in the form of facts. Now famous Zimdar List It covers both types, plus sarcasm and sites that take advantage of clickbait headlines. Snopes also maintains a list.
While Zimdars is happy that its list has received a lot of attention, it also cautions that completely deleting some sites as “fakes” is not accurate. “I want to make sure this list doesn’t do too much harm to the end goal,” she says. “It is interesting that some of the headlines [about my list] They are as categorical as the ones I am analyzing.”