During the 2016 Presidential Election, many people became aware of the proliferation of fake news websites. It is important to be able to identify if a news source is real or fake, and beyond that, if the source is well-researched and well-argued; this is important not just for determining what sources to use in your assignments, but also as you seek out news and information to be an informed citizen. The links and resources below will help you discern real vs. fake news sources.
This NPR article offers suggestions for how to determine if a site is publishing real or fake news:
Read the full article for more on each of these points, and check out the information on this page for how to conduct a reverse image search.
There are numerous reputable websites where you can check the veracity of a news story, viral video, meme, etc. We've included links to a number of them below. When a story goes viral and you see it on social media, it's always worth checking it on one of these sites to make sure it hasn't been debunked, before sharing it yourself.
While this is an imperfect chart, it is a good illustration of the range of sources that you will encounter when reading information on the internet. You will want to carefully evaluate all of the information you find on the web. Sources in the middle of the chart, are the most reliable, while the outliers are the least reliable. In general, The New York Times, NPR and CNN are much stronger sources than InfoWars, Breitbart and the Daily Caller.
If you have any questions, the reference librarians are always available to discuss evaluation, and any other questions you might have.
One of the best ways to fact-check the many memes you'll encounter online is through a reverse image search. This can also be useful for images in news articles that seem to be fake. For instance, the day after the election there a news story circulated saying that the KKK were parading on a bridge in North Carolina. A reverse image search of the image in that story revealed that the individuals were Trump supporters, but were not wearing KKK garb. You can read more about this story at the link below.
To conduct a reverse image search for news stories such as the example above:
This will provide you with links to pages that have used this image. From here, you can assess the websites using the image and decide if they are credible.
Debunking the viral "KKK Trump Supporters" image: http://www.snopes.com/klan-marches-celebrate-trump-victory/