How to spot fake news in eight steps

Libraries promote freedom of expression, but freedom of expression also means that the internet and media are full of information that you cannot always be sure if it is true or not.

Luckily, there are tools to distinguish between factual and fake news. One such tool, media literacy, is promoted by libraries as an essential civic skill.

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has listed eight simple steps based on media literacy to distinguish real news from fake news.

If you doubt the truthfulness of a story, you can check and test it following these steps:

Consider the source

Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.

Check the author

Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?

Check the date

Reposting old news stories does'n mean they're relevant to current events.

Check your biases

Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.

Read beyond

Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?

Supporting sources?

Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.

Is it a joke?

If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and the author to be sure.

Ask the experts

Ask a librarian, or consult a fact-checking site.