How to Tell the Difference Between Fake and Real News

By Southold | News

Fake news has been in the news a lot lately. You can find it on many online information sources as well as on Facebook (where a lot of fake and real news is shared). But how do you know what is fake and what is real when it comes to information? It isn’t always easy to tell the difference. You owe it to yourself to be an educated reader. Search the phrase “fake news” in Google and see what articles are posted. That’s a start.

A brief primer was recently posted on, by Nick Robins-Early (11/22/16). The article, “How to Recognize a Fake News Story”, starts by listing points to consider, some of which are listed below:

  • Read past the headline
  • Check what news outlet published it
  • Check the publish date and time
  • Who is the author?
  • Look at what links and sources are used
  • Look out for questionable quotes and photos
  • Search to see if other news outlets are reporting it

Something to consider: It has been reported by a number of reliable sources that, in the final three months before the 2016 US election, 20 top-performing fake news stories on Facebook outperformed 20 top-performing factual stories. That means that fake election related news was shared more often than real news.

The library is accumulating reading material on this topic for your reference. We urge you to read up on it or let us know if you have questions. Be a smart consumer of information.