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How to spot fake news in eight simple steps
Try a quiz
Think you can tell a legitimate story from a fake one just from the headline? Try one of these quizzes:
Can you spot the deceptive Facebook post?
From the New York Times, September 2018.
What is "fake news," and how can you spot it?
A 2017 quiz from the Globe & Mail.
Quiz: Can you spot the fake stories?
Created by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), November 2016.
Can you pick the fake news headline?
From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), November 2016
Tips for interpreting breaking news
"'Whatever you might hear in the first couple of hours after a major news event, you should probably take it all with a grain of salt,' says Andy Carvin, senior strategist on NPR's [National Public Radio's] Digital Desk." WNYC's On the Media podcast producers have created the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, a nine-point checklist for evaluating the first reports of major events.
For further tips (and even a for-credit course), see our Finding and evaluating resources guide, or use Library Search for course- and discipline-specific information (try terms like "fake news" or "evaluating") .
Our Search tips for Google and Google Scholar page includes more advanced tools you can use to trace the origins of false stories -- as well as images.
For strategies for researching academic topics, including evaluating resources in the various disciplines, check the subject-based research guides created by SFU subject specialist librarians.
More about the How to Spot Fake News infographic
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) created this infographic (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News). "Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and in social media networks. The more we crowdsource our wisdom, the wiser the world becomes. You can also check out FactCheck.org’s video based on the article."