Back when people got their news only from papers, radio, television, and magazines, it was very easy to tell if there was someone who's pulling your leg. National Enquirer is a suspect as the tabloid features stories that are outrageous with headlines like "Woman Gave Birth to Alien." Although we just laugh at the titles, there’s one thing that’s definitely not funny: with social media and the internet's growth, fake news sites and fake news stories have proliferated.
A huge number of websites write humorous, false stories intentionally. A prime example of this is The Onion. A lot of people know that it's a satirical publication or under the satire genre. When you open the "About Us" tab on the site, it will tell you that it makes use of invented names in its stories unless there are public figures that are being satirized.
However, lots of other sites that publish fake news claim to be real. Some just don't disclose their satirical nature, and if they do, they hide the disclosure within their websites.
So how can we make sure that we are not being bamboozled? The tips that we have below will help you get started.
Check the URL and the domain
Established news organizations own their domains. Also, they make use of a standard look which you may be familiar with. Websites that have endings like ".com.cor" or ".com.co" should give you a tip that there’s a need for you to dig around to ensure that they are reliable. We recommend you do this even when the site looks professional and has semi-recognizable logos.
Check the Site's "About Us" Section
The "About Us" section of a website contains information regarding the news outlet, all of its leaders, the company that’s running it, and the ethics statement and the mission of the organization. There’s a specific language that’s used in this section which is typically straightforward. If it seems overblown and melodramatic, then you have a reason to be skeptical. If you want to look further, try and find out more about the leaders of the organization in other places aside from the website.
Take Note of the Quotes
When self-checking, you have to take note of the quotes that are in a story. Most publications have lots of sources in every story. Whenever it’s a controversial or serious issue, it's likely to have a lot of quotes. Look for the academics or professors who can speak regarding the research they have done. If it's about a research, go to a search engine and look up the study. Basically, we are saying that you shouldn’t rely on only one source of news.
These tips are some of the ways that can help you determine what kind of news a certain article is. Just follow the advice we have given you and you won't just help yourself - you will also help others as you are not contributing to the circulation of fake news.