One of the critical abilities needed to master today's world is the capacity to spot fake news. Knowing how to spot fake news helps purify the information we base our decisions upon. When we can do that, we make more effective decisions, which is pretty important when it comes to preparedness. 

Here we discuss:

  • What is Fake News
  • Who Creates Misinformation
  • Five Ways Spot Fake News

What is Fake News

Knowing how to spot fake news helps purify and verify the information we base our decisions on.

Fake News = Misinformation

Define Clickbait: (Merriam-Webster definition) Something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.

In other words, people create headlines and images designed to get "We the People" to investigate their links. When we click on the links they gain money and influence.

Back in the old days, when people obtained their news primarily from newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, it was generally easy to determine when someone was pulling your leg. 

Pretty much anything in the National Enquirer was suspect. For example, tabloids featured stories with outrageous headlines, such as, "Woman Gives Birth to Alien." We may laugh at such titles, but what's not so funny is in the last decade or two, with the growth of the Internet and social media, fake news stories and entirely fraudulent news sites have proliferated.

Who Creates Misinformation

There are three types of people, in my mind, that creates misinformation.

  • People Who Make Money From Clicks
  • People With Agendas
  • People Who Have Nothing Better to Do

If you have ideas on why people create fake news, share it in the Facebook group, comment on the post to let us know. I want to keep expanding this topic so over time, it becomes more comprehensive in helping people not fall for fake news headlines or articles.

Five Ways Spot Fake News

  1. Examine the website domain. Does it look odd, long, unusual?
  2. Legitimacy: Is the source legitimate or one known for publishing garbage? If you're not sure about the source, what about the other titles on the site? "Mother Gives Birth to Three Headed Alien With Blue Eye." Are sites you know to be reputable carrying the story as well? Satire sites such as The Onion, the Babylon Bee, and others use satire.These sites rely upon irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, to expose, denounce, or deride vice, folly, etc.
  3. Is the story some prediction of future events? In other words, is it an opinion piece? Does it predict future disasters, future cures, future certainties? If it's about predicting the future, it's likely an opinion piece. Remember the definition of clickbait? 
  4. Fact-check. Use Google, DuckDuckGo, etc., to research facts in the story, such as the names of people, places and things discussed. You may find additional information or the writer of the story is slanting or that it's total BS.
  5. Does the headline or the story cause enough emotion to make you want to share right away? Does the article make you feel good because it says something you agree with? Or how about a headline that makes you angry?


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