Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By SiteProNews (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

How to Spot and Stop Fake News

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The term “Fake News” might once have seemed like an oxymoron — after all, the news is inherently supposed to be true and real. But the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation is such that this once contradictory term now describes an increasingly important feature in our society. Namely, some media outlets purport to offer news when actually, they publish ideological propaganda, sensationalized “entertainment,” or outright falsehoods.

When people believe these stories and pass them on to others, they gain traction in the public realm, where they lead to (and exacerbate) social divisions. In some cases, disinformation also serves to distract from urgent social problems and thwart public-policy solutions.

No one wants to be fooled with fake news, much less infect others with it. So, how does one best be able to spot it and help stop its spread?

Why Fake News Is a Problem

Fake news has increased exponentially in recent years, and unfortunately remains widespread today. According to a NewsGuard study, content from fake news sites nearly doubled on social media in the first 11 months of 2019 alone.

Perhaps the most famous poster child for the willful dissemination of misinformation is Fox News, which was recently forced to pay $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems for defaming the voting machine company with “active malice.” Indeed, studies have long shown that consuming content from this outlet makes viewers — even skeptical ones who are merely checking in to see what the other side is saying — demonstrably less informed about public events.

The 2021 documentary “Framing Britney Spears” also demonstrated how the tabloid press used paparazzi photographs to fabricate false narratives about the pop icon. Not surprisingly, Spears did not thrive under these conditions of malevolent interest and constant harassment. Meanwhile, repeated misogynistic headlines and breathless mythmaking created such a widespread perception of her “instability” that a court stripped her of her autonomy and placed her in a conservatorship. She was only able to win her freedom back over a decade later.

The Importance of Media Literacy Training

According to the MIT Media Lab, the biggest cause for this firehose of fake news is that many Americans don’t pay attention to whether or not the content they share online is factually accurate. In fact, the American Psychological Association suggests they may share it just to signal their membership in a larger socio-political group or “online tribe.”

There is hope, however. The MIT Media Lab’s follow-up study found that suggesting people consider the accuracy of their social media posts before hitting “submit” could help stem the tide.

That’s where media literacy training comes in. When you understand how to identify misleading content, and use these tools to evaluate the social media slurry, you can help stop fake news in its tracks — and prevent it from spreading. 

Here are three tips to help you improve your media literacy.

Tip #1: Verify Sources

Always double-check the credibility of your sources before accepting or sharing any content you find online. Reliable outlets should have a track record of accuracy and transparency, and research should confirm that their viewers understand what’s going on in the world better than someone who doesn’t consume news at all. In general, not-for-profit sources of news such as NPR perform best in the US on these measures.

Reliable news sources should also avoid ideological bias. The company Ad Fontes Media periodically updates a handy chart that identifies which supposed “news” outlets actually report the news, and which provide increasingly problematic partisan commentary. Type the name of a given source in the search box, and the interactive interface will immediately show you its position on the map, as well as the data points that went into determining it.

Tip #2: Cross-reference Information

Never believe a single source, especially if it doesn’t have a shining reputation, so always be sure to check other sources to see if they agree with the information. If a lot of reputable sources agree, it doesn’t guarantee the content is true, but the chances go up.

On the other hand, if even just a single reputable source questions the claims you’ve come across somewhere else, then it’s a red flag for fake news. No matter how much you might want to believe what’s in that first source, it’s wise to hold off. If no consensus has yet emerged among reputable sources, it’s a good idea to wait until one does.

Tip #3: Check Your Facts Before Sharing

Before sharing information on social media, do your due diligence and run it through a fact-checking website. For instance, the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s fact-checkers can confirm or deny the authenticity of many claims from politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as stories about health, immigration, and climate change.

Another important fact-checking website is Snopes, which quickly investigates trending images and other posts on social media and debunks them if necessary.

Promote Media Literacy In Your Circle

When people share fake news, it makes them look credulous, if not downright gullible. The spread of this misinformation also has a negative impact on our nation as a whole.

To spare your own friends and family from this fate and help reverse these troubling trends, consider using your social media accounts to promote media literacy. Share resources and tips on how to evaluate news sources correctly, such as this article. 

Education is the key to combating fake news. Together, we can restore the “real news” to its rightful place as just plain “the news” and make “fake news” an oxymoron again.

The post How to Spot and Stop Fake News appeared first on SiteProNews.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Total 2 comments

    ‘Fake News’ started centuries ago. More recently, the 1911 founding of the American branch of the 1909 British Empire Press Union(now Commonwealth Press Union) called The Council on Foreign Relations was investigated and reported into The Congressional Record February 1917 by Hon. Rep. Oscar Callaway. In their own documents, the CFR clearly states, “The Purpose of The Council on Foreign Relations(Rothschild, Rockefeller, JPMorgan) will be to buy up all influential newspapers and editorial boards to create public debate and thus control the minds of the American people.” This is why America is so stupid about their own government. Freedom of the press is being abused to create the lies. Quite slanderous, libelous, and destructive to our republic. Look at the bewildered wrapping dust masks around their faces to deflect viruses. That does not work.

  • TruthOnTV

    But Dominion WAS and IS cheating in our elections! We haven’t had a real election in 50 years,

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.