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Check the site domain for extra letters. For example a “.com” site would probably be more reputable than a “.com.co” site, even though they look similar and the site may have a polished look. Try to find information about the background of the site somewhere on the site, like an about me tab. If it’s a reputable site this will be a simple description of the news organization and it’s leadership, but if it is fake site it will be dramatic and hard to believe. Also if you can’t find information about the site’s leadership on other pages besides the original site, it may be fake. When dealing with an article using quotes, research the person credited to the quote and if they reference any scholarly work, research that too. If it is a reputable site the quotes would most likely be from scholars and experts. When you look up the person who said the quote, also look up the quote itself, because if it is a reputable source there is most likely a transcript of the quote somewhere online.
Check the comments to see if anyone has already called out the article for being fake. If the title is written in an outrageous way that seems as if it is meant to get the reader’s attention, it is probably fake. You can do a reverse google image search, wherein you take an image from the article and search google for similar images. If it was taken from an unrelated topic/ article the original article is most likely irreputable. Find out if the site is self hosted (like wordpress, weebly, or wix). Since these are the easiest type of websites to start, fake news sites often use them. Just go into the source code and search for keywords relating to self hosted sites (like the name of the hosting service for example). Always actually read an article before sharing it so you don’t accidentally spread misinformation.
Check if any known reputable sites are also reporting the same topic/ event. Since other reputable networks report almost everything, if they are not doing so that means that the article is probably fake. Do all these steps on any sources the article lists. Snopes: The purpose of this site is to professionally fact check rumors, social media posts, and fake news. This site can be trusted, but not as the only source of fact checking. This site does list it’s sources and is not a fake site, but it has a few worrying factors, such as lots of third party advertisements and attention grabbing headlines. So this website can be used to base an opinion off of but another source should be consulted. Politifact: The purpose of this website is once again to professionally fact check and advise the public as to what news is real and what is false, specifically pertaining to US politics. This site can be trusted. It has an easily accessible and reputable about page, including the contacts for all of Politifact’s staff members. It has also been used a source by various reputable news networks such as CNN FactCheck: The purpose of this website is to ensure that all press from politicians is correct information and would not harm consumers. This website can be trusted. It can be trusted because it lists all of its sources and its authors.
Also, it has been used as a source by many reputable news networks in the past. Hoaxy: The purpose of this is to visualize the spread of misinformation and fake news by analyzing from where the untrue sources are shared from. This site can be trusted. This site can be trusted because it reports the objective spread of fake news, not an option California Governor Gay Sex Education The article details briefly how California allegedly is forcing elementary school children to watch homosexual pornography, as well as California’s LGBT inclusive textbooks. I have concluded that this story is misinformation. First I examined the website it came from. By looking at the source code from the website, I found that it was self hosted on wordpress, which meant that it most likely wasn’t a credible source. Second, there was no about page with information about the website. Third, the author had no bio, and upon googling his name I found that he was associated with definitely being part of fake news.
Finally, I searched keywords on snopes and I found out that this specific article, and the entire website, were definitely fake, according to credible sources listed on Snopes. Snopes – did the terrorist trainor’s father speak at Obama’s democratic convention: Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the father of suspected school shooter-trainer Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, was a keynote speaker at Obama’s democratic national conference. The article also tied obama to the bombings of the world trade centers. Although it is true that the first man is the father of the second, the first man did not speak at the democratic conference, therefore he is not tied in any way to Obama. The original article took one kernel of truth and diluted it with lies until there was a significant story. Politifact – Matt Flynn, priest scandal Matt Flynn claimed he had no part in transferring priests with a history of molestation, although he was the top lawyer for many years Politifacts considers this statement half-true, since there is no specific evidence to the contrary. However common sense would tell us that since he was the head lawyer he would have to have some part in transferring the priests. Politifacts came to this conclusion by going through various primary sources to either validate or invalidate flynn’s story, and then made a judgement.
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