How To Spot Fake News Articles

How To Spot Fake News Articles

In the age of information, we're often misinformed.
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They always tell us not to believe everything that we read on the Internet. But then, what exactly can we believe on the Internet? The tricky thing about the Internet is that even though we have access to tons of information, not all of it is quality information. So, how does one become a discerning reader?

People today seem to have a general distrust of the media. They say that the media is corrupt. That all news articles are fluff because media outlets will do anything to generate a bit of buzz. But is that the fault of the media, or is it the fault of the consumers?

Let me ask you a question. How much of your daily news information comes from Facebook? Or Twitter? I'd guess that a fair portion of it comes from social media -- and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. The problem doesn't lie in the source of the information -- it lies in the receiver. Yes, there are a lot of sources out there that post fake stories just to get attention. And passive receivers will be easily duped by those stories. But part of being a well-informed citizen is learning to think for yourself. It's just a fact of life that having more options means having more information to sort through, and if you don't want to be "lied to" by the media, then you're going to have to seek your own answers. So what can you do to be an active receiver?

First, you can check the source of a story. Did it come from a reputable source or a notoriously biased source? Is it a firsthand account of a story? If not, did the author provide hyperlinks or references to provide evidence for their information? Make sure you actually read articles before you share them on social media- the title of an article doesn't always reflect the content.

You can also read more than one story. Some news sources are either liberally or conservatively biased, so you may only be getting pieces of the whole story. Read about the issue from another source to get more information.

Check the dates on the story. For whatever reason, stories or videos often go viral long after they were originally posted. If you're casually surfing and come across an article that was recently posted, you could reasonably (and wrongly) assume that because it was shared recently, the event occurred recently.

And finally, stay up to date on the news in general. theSkimm is a great way to get caught up on the important daily news. They'll send you a free email every weekday morning summarizing a few of the biggest news stories so you don't have to sift through a bunch of articles on news sites (pssst, sign up here). They're excellent at presenting the information in a humorous, yet unbiased manner.

If you really want to be an informed citizen, subscribe to one of your local newspapers! Or, if you're not into reading an entire newspaper every morning, follow your local paper on Twitter or Facebook. That way, you'll know that your news is coming from a reputable source, and not from your cat-video-sharing Aunt Nancy's posts.



Cover Image Credit: Eepeng Cheong // Unsplash

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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This Is Not The Great America I Learned About In Elementary School

I learned about a great America in my English class, but it was all lies.

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Growing up as a kid, I used to listen stories of what a great country the U.S. is. I heard how the U.S. had jumped in the middle of wars to end and save the world. How mighty and strong the country was. But, when I moved to the U.S., I learned that almost everything I've heard were just lies told by the white men.

To reiterate, I'm from a small country in Central America -- Honduras. The school I attended was bilingual, but most of my classes were in English. Even my history class was in English. And since there were no history of my country in English, we learned American history. We learned of the country that offered freedom and equality, the country many people escaped to for a better life.

I learned about its presidents, it's tribulations and how it overcame them; I learned about its wars; its "fight for justice and equality."

But when I moved to the U.S., many of the things that I was taught turned out to be a lie. This country was not the mighty country that I had learned about in my history class. There was no freedom. No equality.

The oppressed have been fighting for years, and the U.S. only gives in small portions to try to appease the masses for short periods of time. Instead of actually dealing with its issues, it only makes them worse.

The U.S. is a country full of prejudices and imbalances. Nobody is equally equal. We're all "equal" to a certain extent. Those with power are the ones who dictate how we are equal and how we aren't. Today, the U.S. has stressed that the importance of an undeveloped ball of mass is more important than its carrier.

Women have been stripped of their rights with the intention of "saving future doctors and engineers." This new abortion laws show the lack of balance of power, and it shows who is the one that truly controls the country.

Trans people have been stripped their right to serve their natal country.

Stereotypes still haunt many communities that aren't purely white, villainizing them. Making people believe that they don't belong here unless their skin is white like snow, and eyes blue like the sky.

And now, a new bill has been proposed that will offer "merits-based visas" to immigrants where their English proficiency and certain skills of them will be tested to see if they are "eligible" to reside in the U.S. But the underlying purpose of this is to kill the flame of people immigrating to the U.S. This new immigration policy was meant to foster fear and insecurities among the immigrant community.

The rules are blind to the actual problems we face in the country, but instead, they only try to focus on what will benefit them.

As sad as this may sound, sometimes I wish I hadn't moved to the U.S. because many of my dreams and expectations have been broken to really small pieces, and I won't try to piece them back because it would only result in me turning my head away.

And that is not what we need to do during this time.

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