There has been a lot written about fake news recently. With many thinking it effected the US elections and the Brexit vote in the UK.
What is Fake news?
Fake news can be relatively harmless satire or a deliberate attempt to mislead. Unfortunately fake news tends to be written is such a way that they attract high numbers of shares. This is deliberate as they can generate large amounts of income for their publishers.
Why does it matter?
It matters because not everybody realises they are Fake News stories.
For example we hope you would realise this is fake –
But there are clues – the byline says Doug Trench (unlikely name) and it is on a website called the Suffolk Gazette which states it is “Let us tell you the Suffolk Gazette is without question Britain’s best spoof news and satire news site – all with a lovely Suffolk twist.”
However the reason this fake news is hitting the headlines is because of stories being shared connected with the US elections and the EU referendum.
Google and Facebook are both under fire for not flagging things as untrue so expect to hear more about this as they work on algorithms to sort it out.
There are lots of sites to check if something is true or not
Here are three which either check the stories or you can check the facts
Snopes – http://www.snopes.com
Full Fact: https://fullfact.org/
Fact Check: http://www.factcheck.org/
Here are Golden Rules for checking
- Read before Sharing
- Check the date
- Avoid sites that aren’t balanced if looking for facts
- Check if other reliable sources are reporting it
- Fact check – Snopes and other sites
- Ask a librarian if you want more help – information is our job
We have put together a video which gives you an overview of how to test if something is true or not.