Did the information come from a reputable source? For example, does it come from a known newspaper such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, etc? Do you recognize the title of the source? What kind of expertise or knowledge from the author gives credibility to the information being shared? Also, does the source you are receiving your information from share where they have found this information or other evidence that supports their claims?
Tip: If you are looking at news on the web, check out the URL and the website. Look at the "about" section of the website. Is there anything there that seems suspicious? What are some of the other headlines on that site?
Don't just look at the headline! Read the content. Does it match what the headline is saying? Is this an article or does it seem more of an opinion piece/editorial? Does the information seem accurate based upon information that you already know to be true? Are there any links included in the article that lead you to more information from a reliable source?
Can the information in your source be verified in another reputable source as well? Does the original source show bias to a particular side or viewpoint? Check another source to see if information is found on the same story and compare the information found in the two.
(And if you're curious, Snopes has a Fake News Archive.)
Watch this quick video that can help show why checking multiple sources is important:
There are various fact checking sites that can be used to verify the accuracy of claims made in the news. Below are some examples:
Looking at reports of polling? FiveThirtyEight has created a list of ratings for various polling groups based on historical accuracy and potential bias.
Ever wonder just how quickly news or stories can spread? The following tools offer a way to help visualize the spread of information:
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