Learn to recognize common indicators of fake news, understand the consequences of careless sharing, and learn to become a fact-checker.
Fake news is made-up, false information packaged and shared as real news. Fake news:
The accusation of 'fake news' is becoming a common way to dismiss any news item that people don't like. In light of this trend, it is more important than ever to understand what is NOT fake news.
Breaking News that is verified and corrected as a situation unfolds may contain factual errors that are later amended. Watch for biased assumptions here.
Opinion Pieces, Commentary and Editorials may use oversimplification, hypothetical situations, and hyperbole to make their point. These articles should be labled as such.
Journalism that makes you uncomfortable, or that clashes with your worldview.
Satire is a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society by using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule (LiteracyDevices.net)
Image created by Sarah Wasko.
Media Bias is not Fake News. Media bias is displayed through the selection of topics, angles, and language to support a general worldview.
Most traditional news media are owned by corporations, or are dependent on advertising revenue; therefore they have a vested interest in promoting certain views and pleasing certain demographic groups.
Detecting this bias is also an important information literacy skill, and you can apply many of the techniques in this guide to help you. Watch for these signs of media bias:
BEWARE: Some media outlets mix fake news and deliberate misinformation along with truthful (though biased) reports.
Fake News has propelled certain Conspiracy Theories into the mainstream.
1. a theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; a belief that a particular unexplained event was caused by such a group.
2. the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.
Reverse Image Search Tools: find for the origins of an image by uploading or linking to the image:
There is a lot of talk about ways that tech companies can combat fake news, but there are many stumbling blocks.
Chrome and Mozilla have a variety of browser extensions that try to flag fake news. If you are trying one out, be sure to check what criteria they use to categorize sites. Some conspiracy sites have created their own detectors that will flag all main stream media as fake!
It will be interesting to watch this technology develop, but for now, we recommend that you be your own detective!
The sharing of fake news has very real consequences that impact people's lives:
There is no shortage of material about fake news these days! Though the US is providing a wealth of excellent examples of Fake News, Canada is certainly not immune.
Can you think of some Canadian examples of Fake News?
In late 2015, several chain emails & Facebook posts claimed that refugees received more money than pensioners/veterans/welfare recipients. These claims were circulated widely, and are still being shared today.
This version is a fact-checked mark-up provided by Dr. Silvia D'Addario and York University students for Canadian Council for Refugees.
Examine these examples of fake news. How can you fact-check the claims being made?