Skip to Main Content

Fake News: Tips on How to Spot Fake News

How do you know you are looking at fake news?

1. Check the domain or URL: News organizations usually have a pretty clear domain and brand.  Usually, these end with ".com". Be wary of sites that end with .co or another uncommon domain.

2. Check out the "About Us" section on unfamiliar websites. Some websites are satire, or meant to be a parody of the news. The Onion and Clickhole are good examples. 

3. Are there quotes from respected sources or individuals in the field?

4. Reverse image search: right click on the image and click on "search Google for the image". If the image is at all related to the story it will come up in Google as will other sources who are reporting about it. 

5. Check the date: some stories are not fake, but republished to distort what is going on in the current news.

6. Research the author: click on or Google on their name to see if they are really a known or respected writer.

7.  Can you find this story anywhere else? Once news is picked up it spreads pretty rapidly, so more then one news outlet should be reporting it.  

Below are screen shots from two websites, both taken on the same date (2/1/17). One is a legitimate news source and the other, a fake news site.  Can you spot the differences?

Here are the answers.

Spot the Difference 1


For a larger version, click here.

Spot the Difference 2


For a larger version, click here