Fake News: How To Spot Fact From Fiction

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) —  Teachers are taking fake news checking in their own hands – by educating students from elementary school to college on how to spot fact from fiction.

First of they say, look at where you are going. Does the URL look odd? That “com.co” ending on an otherwise authentic-looking website is a red flag. When in doubt, click on the “contact” and “about” links to see where they lead. A major news organization probably isn’t headquartered in a house.

Here are just some of their lessons in separating fact from fiction:

  • Does it make you mad? False reports often target emotions with claims of outlandish spending or unpatriotic words or deeds. If common sense tells you it can’t be true, it may not be.
  • If it’s real, other news sites are likely reporting it.
  • How is the writing? Caps lock and multiple exclamation points don’t have a place in most real newsrooms.
  • Who are the writers and the people in the story? Google names for clues to see if they are legitimate, or not.
  • What are fact-checking sites like Snopes.com and FactCheck.org finding?
  • It might be satire. Sometimes foolish stories aren’t really meant to fool.
  • Think twice before sharing. Today, everyone is a publisher.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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