How to Spot Fake News? – Examining the Source (Part 2/3)
1. Search for the author’s other work
Find out who wrote the story and whether they’re a knowledgeable source. Look for other published works, where they were educated, and their professional experience
If there’s no byline, which names an article’s author, ditch the article.
When you run a search on the author, it’s wise to cross reference your findings. For instance, you might find the author’s website, where they claim they’ve won 3 Pulitzer Prizes. However, when you check the full list of winners, you find that no one with their last name has ever won a Pulitzer.
2. Learn about the publisher’s point of view
Go to the organization’s website and visit its “About” section. Check if they include satirical information or a specific viewpoint other than reporting objective facts. See if they include anything about employing professional news journalists, or if their content is created by people without professional experience
For instance, The Onion’s About page mentions its readership is 4.3 trillion, which is a lot more than the Earth’s population. Aside from obvious satire, be skeptical if an organization talks about conspiracies or advancing a particular ideology.
3. Look for strange URLs, sloppy website design, and other red flags
A suspicious news website might have an unusual URL that tries to mimic a legitimate news source, such as abc.com.co instead of abc.com. In addition, a credible news organization has its website professionally designed. Be skeptical of sloppy, amateurish formatting and frequent spelling or grammatical errors.
4. Check the publisher’s advertisements
Read or listen to the ads featured on websites, in print, or on television and radio broadcasts. A news story on a topic related to an advertised product or service isn’t reliable
For instance, suppose you’re reading an article about a cure-all supplement. If you see ads for the supplement, don’t trust the article.