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Research Skills

Identifying Fake News

The ability to tell the difference between accurate and impartial news from biased news or fake news is an important skill.

Being able to evaluate news and other sources will:

Tick box icon Help you find higher quality resources

Tick box icon Enable you to gain real knowledge and help you become better educated

Tick box icon Prevent you from losing credibility when you share stories that are old, aren't true or are inaccurate

How to Spot Fake News

Steps to Spotting Fake News

1. Consider the Source

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

  • Check the "About us" and contact information - some fake news sites state the they publish fictional stories or even satire
  • Are there any spelling mistakes, or strange domain extensions? eg. www.realnews.ausydney
  • Google the name of the site - you may find reports about its authenticity
  • Avoid relying on news from social media sources, use news sources


2. Read beyond

Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks.

  • What's the whole story? Check the story on other news sites
  • Check who else is talking about the same story?
  • Have the facts been verified?
  • Good quality reporting will include context, and wont exclude, misrepresent or oversimplify details


3. Check the author

Do a quick search on the author.

  • Are they credible?
  • Are they real?
  • Where else do they publish?
  • LinkedIn is a good source for checking the credentials of authors


4. Check supporting sources and links to further information

  • Click on links to additional information and look for anything that doesn't add up
  • Determine if the information given actually supports the story
  • A good qualiity article will clearly identify it's sources and if anonymous sources are used, an explanation will be be given


5. Check the date

  • Is there a date stamp?
  • Is it current? 
  • Does it accurately match the content of the story?


6. Check your biases

Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement

  • Read other sources reporting the same news and compare perspectives, or how the story is told


7. Ask the experts

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

Fact Checking Websites

Facebook and Twitter Verified Accounts

Blue ticks Dark blue tick icon  Light blue tick icon in Facebook and Twitter confirm that the accounts belong to the celebrity, public figure or brand they represent. These accounts can be a way of gaining information from trusted journalists and sources in real-time. 

News and Newspapers Via the Library