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Fake News: How to be a Responsible Information Consumer: Evaluating a Source

Can't tell the difference between real and unreliable news? Check out these resources.

What's So Bad About Fake News?

Why should you care about whether or not your news is real or fake?

  1. You deserve the truth.  You are smart enough to make up your own mind - as long as you have the real facts in front of you. 
  2. Fake news destroys your credibility.  If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
  3. Fake news can hurt you, and a lot of other people.  Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice help perpetuate medical myths, which is dangerous.
  4. Real news can benefit you.  If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely.  If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs.  Fake news will not help you make money or make the world a better place, but real news can.

How to Spot Fake News

5 Ways to Spot Fake News

Ask Yourself...

Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself when you encounter an online story:

  • Who made this?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who paid for this?  Or, who gets paid if I click this?
  • Who might benefit or be harmed by this information?
  • What is left out of this story that might be important?
  • Is this credible?  Why or why not?

Verification Tools

Use the following tools to verify, cross-check, and compare content you see online:

Fact Checkers

Verify Webpage History

Verify Images

Found an image you think may have been manipulated or photo-shopped? Use these tools to check for any digital changes:


Common Sense Media. (2017). 5 ways to spot fake news. Retrieved from

Filucci, S. (2017). How to spot fake news (and teach kids to be media-savvy).  Retrieved from

How To Spot Fake News. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from

Indiana University East Campus Library. (2017). What's wrong with fake news? Retrieved from

William H. Hannon Library. (2017). Tools for verifying. Retrieved from

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