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Fake News

Some thoughts and tips on how to respond to fake news, with an emphasis on critical thinking.

The questions on this page can help you explore matters of credibility, bias, and newsworthiness. Using questions like this will help you think critically about any news report and help you decide how seriously you want to take it.

Why did I read it?

Who is the headline and story written for?

What is the appeal that the headline or story makes to you as a reader? What is your interest in the story?

How does the author get a hook into you?

What kind of bias does the author show?

How does the author appeal to my own biases?

Is there something new here?

Does the story provide dates for any reported events? Are the dates recent?

Are other, independent sources validating the story, or are they just repeating the same source?

Is this a report of old news given a sensational re-telling to get attention?

Who is behind this and how would they know what they claim?

How would they know?

Does the story provide support for the headline?

Does the story include any original reporting, research or investigation? Are the methods clearly explained?

Who benefits and how?

Who profits from readers visiting this site and reading this story? Is it an established news organization?

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