5 Ways to Spot Fake News

Author: PeopleFinders on June 18th, 2018
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News services have been around for quite a long time, letting people all around the world know what’s going on quickly and efficiently. With the invention of the internet, that process has become even faster and more efficient! It’s great for people who need their news on demand, and it lets the news get to you from across the world in no time. But we’ve also seen a flood of fake news — news that people make up to make their website more popular or increase their revenue from ads with no evidence to back it up. It’s essential that be able to tell when a news story is real, and when it’s all fake. Here are some tips to help you tell the difference.

1. Make sure the news site you’re using is reputable.

There are plenty of news sites maintained by reputable news agencies, most of which have in-print newspapers. But there are also sites that try to pass themselves off as news services, but are, in fact, nothing but gossip and rumors. And while not fake news per se, there also are many satirical news sites, some of which don’t mention on their website the fact that they their stories are satire. By searching around a little bit, you can find information from other people on the internet as to how reliable a specific website is.

2. Look for citations to academic resources or links to other websites.

Reputable news sites will provide links to back up the claims they’re making. If a news story is simply reporting facts from another story to reach their own audience, they should provide a link to the original story providing that information. If they’re putting forth a new opinion on established news, they should link to evidence about that news first, then give their opinion. Even providing links to non-news but reliable sites can show that they put effort into the news they’re reporting. Just make sure those links aren’t to shady sites that might not have quality reporting either!

3. Read information on the same story at different sites.

Each site will have a different opinion on the same story. That’s why there are so many news sites. The basic facts of the story, however, should still be the same, even if the takeaway opinion is different. Read at least three or four other reports on the same topic, and make sure that the bare-bones story looks about the same. If everyone else is giving you information that a specific source is strategically withholding, and you can’t find any academic sources on that site, it’s probably not completely accurate.

4. Check to see if they have an agenda.

Everyone has a little bit of a bias because we all see the world differently, and that colors how we frame or interpret a news story. But there’s a big difference between a bias and an agenda. If a story is trying to push a specific worldview and is twisting the truth to fit that worldview, you should be careful. News sites that are interested in a specific stance on a particular issue might also change the facts just a little bit to effectively push their viewpoint. Make sure you search around so that you can find the truth of the matter.

5. Research the reporter.

If a reporter is listed, there’s nothing wrong with making sure they don’t have an agenda, even if the news source doesn’t. With PeopleFinders, you can find that kind of information about them! Use the people search feature to get basic information about them, and a background check to find things like their party affiliation. Researching the reporter or writer of an article is just as important as researching the site, so make sure you’re doing your due diligence before believing everything you read.

Conclusion

The internet has irrevocably changed the way people receive the news; about 38% of Americans often get their news online, many of them through dedicated news websites. That’s why it’s so important to fact-check every article or news report you read. You’re essentially getting information from a largely unmoderated channel, and anyone can post their content on it! By researching the news you come across on the internet, you can get your news efficiently without sacrificing knowledge. If you want to conduct the most thorough research possible, use PeopleFinders to get the full story on the people writing the articles you read. It’s important in the search for good internet reporting.

Categorized in: News