The “Story” of Fake News and How to Avoid it

Fake news is everywhere. It could appear as print, a newspaper article, a YouTube video, images, even radio. The place where fake news appears the most and tricks the most people is social media. Social media is a great way for fake news to get out into the world. With fake news being rampant, and people calling reliable news sources “fake news,” this guide can help you figure out what is fake news, and how to avoid it.

 

1. Check the grammar

On fake news sites, there is a lot of irregular grammar and spelling errors. These fake reporters will also use lots of capital letters and dramatic punctuation, such as putting “?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!” after a sentence. If a news story uses these, it is most likely a fake news site.

 

2. Look at usernames

On social media, people who want to spread fake news often use fake names very close to the real name. For instance, if someone wanted to impersonate Donald Trump on Twitter, they could use the username “Donald J. Trunp.” This looks very similar to his real username, “Donald J. Trump.” When looking on social media, check the usernames of the person giving the news.

 

3. Look at fact checking websites

This is one of the most simple and easiest ways to avoid fake news. Fact checking websites such as factcheck.org help identify real or fake news. Another way to fact-check is to enter the headline into Google, and search to see if many reputable news sources back it up.

 

4. Don’t believe everything you see online

One of the biggest ways that fake news spreads is people just like you posting it because you feel that it is real. In order to stop the spread of fake news, or at least hinder it, do not spread fake news and encourage other people to not believe everything they see online, too.

 

5.  Help stop fake news

In the end, just not reading or not believing fake news doesn’t matter. The best way to avoid fake news is to stop it. You alone can not stop fake news, but you and other like-minded people can. Share this post and others like it on social media. If you see a fake news website or post, flag it. This may not stop fake news entirely, but it will definitely hinder it.