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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fake or Real News? Ways to help you decide.


Getting true (real) information about something in Delta Kappa Gamma is straightforward. Check with the chapter, state or International. Beyond that, it becomes a quagmire. The bottom line otherwise: don’t believe anything you read online without checking it out.


Begin with the article you are reading. Does it use excessive punctuation?!?!?! ALL CAPS? Is there a byline? Are the media outlet’s editorial standards posted anywhere? Is there a current date on the story? Look at the domain/URL.
Be very suspicious of a URL that ends with .com.co - abcnews.com is legitimate, but abcnews.com.co is not. Read the “About Us” section. Is the language straightforward or overblown? If there are any quotes at all, determine if the sources are reputable. Check the comments section. If people are questioning the article’s validity, it probably is fake. Finally, if there is an image with the article, do a reverse search by right-clicking the image and choosing to search Google for it. The image may not be associated with the material in the article at all.

Have you ever gotten a wild, unusual or far-fetched story via email from a friend? A recent example shows a “wall” with the text reading. “This is the gigantic WALL that Mexico built on the Guatemalan border.. Hummmmm. Imagine that? I guess it is OK for Mexico to build a wall to keep Guatemalans out..” The photo actually shows a portion of the Israeli West Bank. In addition, there is no wall between Mexico and Guatemala. You could have checked this information at snopes.com. Snopes– Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time.  Snopes is also usually the first to report the facts.  Truth or Fiction– Very similar to Snopes, this site tends to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Political news stories are scrutinized on several sites.

Politifact– PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida.  Politifact is simply the best source for political fact checking.  It won the .Pulitzer Prize.

Fact Check– FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  Annenberg is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. The Center monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.  Fact Check is similar to Politifact in its coverage, and it provides excellent details.  The only drawback is that the site lacks the simplicity of Politifact.

Open Secrets– Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.  Open Secrets is by far the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money.  They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News

Classroom teachers are finding that they, too, must address this problem. A blog by Vicki Davis, aka Cool Cat Teacher, has three free lesson plans available. Explanation available HERE. PDF files available HERE.

Media bias and outright false information are everywhere. It is up to you to determine if "new" is real or fake. Take a few minutes to do this on the stories that are most important to you.

2 comments:

  1. Great information and helpful links.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for. Hans Fund

    ReplyDelete

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