Become a Fake News Super Sleuth!


You may have heard the term "fake news". Here are some ideas on how to recognise it, why it matters and what you can do.

What is fake news?

Fake news is an inaccurate, sometimes sensationalistic report that is created to gain attention, mislead, deceive or damage a reputation. Unlike misinformation, which is inaccurate because a reporter has confused facts, fake news is created with the intent to manipulate someone or something. Fake news can spread quickly when it provides disinformation that is aligned with the audience's point of view because such content is not likely to be questioned or discounted.

Why does it matter?

It matters because a lot of what we know about the world comes from our news. This information is used to
  • provide material for school research projects
  • help us decide who to vote for around election time
  • give us information for our community projects
  • inform governments when they make policy
  • help us figure out what matters in other countries, everything from celebrities to refugees and world politics

We need to be able to know the truth about these things...and more! What in the news matters to you? While there are some moves by media organisations, social media and even governments to combat fake news, it's up to you to do some detective work.

Tips for spotting fake news


If you want to delve a little deeper...
  • Look for unusual URLs or site names, including those that end with ".co" - these are often trying to appear like legitimate news sites.
  • Look for signs of low quality, such as words all in caps, headlines with spelling mistakes, bold claims with no sources, and sensationalist images. These are clues that you should be skeptical of the source.
  • Check a site's "About Us" section. Who supports the site? Who is associated with it? If this information doesn't exist, then you have reason to doubt their veracity.
  • Consider whether other credible, mainstream news outlets are reporting the same news. If they're not, it doesn't mean it's not true, but you should delve a little deeper.

Check in on your feelings. Clickbait and fake news try to get a reaction out of you. If the news you're reading makes you really angry or super sure of yourself, it could be a sign that you're being tricked. Check multiple sources before trusting a story!

(Sourced from Melissa Zimdars).

Play Factitious to check how good you are at spotting fake news!

Damon Brown looks at how opinions and facts (and sometimes lies) make their way into the news and how we can tell...

Useful fact-checkers

These sites will help you tell the difference between fact and fake news.

Snopes - check out urban legends, email rumours and dodgy emails
Truth or Fiction - look at urban legends, hoaxes and rumours
Fact Check - a useful fact checker for U.S. political news
All Sides - examines news stories from different perspectives