The term “fake news” isn’t new – it’s been around for decades, but last year Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook, used the term in a speech. Then, in January, then President-Elect Donald Trump called a major media outlet “fake news”. The term has taken off and it seems more and more hoax websites are popping up.
So how can you spot something that’s not true?
- If it sounds fake, it probably is. That headline that caught your attention? It was written to catch your attention, and could very well be untrue.
- Check the web address. A fake or lookalike web address (URL) is a sign that something isn’t quite right. One way hoaxers get you is by misspelling or changing the letters around for legitimate news sources.
- Who is this source? Is it for real? Hoax sources will name themselves something close to a real news outlet. Double check it is who you think it is, before believing what you read.
- Photos can be manipulated, so seeing isn’t always believing.
- Are sources named in a story or does it sound like gossip at the beauty salon? Legitimate news names sources and will tell you where they got that information. Hoax sites will rely on hearsay or make something up altogether.
- Who else is reporting it? If this is the only site and no one else has it, be skeptical of really big sensational headlines.
- Is the story satire? Sites like The Onion and Funny or Die will create stories that are a take on news of the day.
- Bonus tip: When it doubt, leave it out of your news feed.
Dawn Dugle and Paul Gallo talk fake news, iPhone thieves and cutting the cord on Friday’s edition of The Dugle Report. And it was all captured on Facebook Live: