This Guide was designed by USC Upstate librarian Laura Karas to help you become aware of the news around you. It is a curated collection of definitions, examples, videos, tools for identification, articles and links from academic libraries discussing Fake News, Bias News, Satirical News, and Propaganda.
“Questionable Sources.” Media Bias/Fact Check, mediabiasfactcheck.com/fake-news/.
Fake news - These are the easiest to debunk and often come from known sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real.
Misleading news - These are the hardest to debunk, because they often contain a kernel of truth: A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context. Look for sensational headlines that aren't supported by the information in the article.
Highly partisan news - A type of misleading news, this may be an interpretation of a real news event where the facts are manipulated to fit an agenda.
Clickbait - The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information -- which may or may not live up to what was promised.
Satire - This one is tough, because satire doesn't pretend to be real and serves a purpose as commentary or entertainment. But if people are not familiar with a satire site, they can share the news as if it is legitimate.
Conspiracy Theory - A conspiracy theory is an explanation or interpretation of events that is based on questionable or nonexistent evidence of a supposed secret plan by a group -- often governments and mainstream media outlets -- to obscure events. Like propaganda, conspiracy theories -- which are almost always completely fabricated, even if individual elements of the theories contain nuggets of fact -- can be presented as fake news when they are packaged as factual news stories
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How to Spot Fake News
Transcript of above InfoGraphic
Consider the Source - Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.
Read Beyond - Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What's the whole story?
Check the Author - Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?
Supporting sources - Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story
Check the Date - Reposting old news stories doesn't mean they're relevant to current events
Is it a Joke - If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure
Check your Biases - Consider if our own beliefs could affect your judgment
Ask the Experts - Ask a Librarian or consult a fact-checking site
This book is a crash course in effective reasoning, meant to catapult you into a world where you start to see things how they really are, not how you think they are. The focus of this book is on logical fallacies, which loosely defined, are simply errors in reasoning. With the reading of each page, you can make significant improvements in the way you reason and make decisions. "Expose an irrational belief, keep a man rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, and keep a man rational for a lifetime." - Bo Bennett