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Fake News & Misinformation: How to Spot It and Verify

When you see a “news” story, you need to dig a lot deeper than the headline or the text of the article to know if what you are seeing is fact. This guide provides tips and resources to help you discern whether the news you see and read is real or fake.

Introduction

Fake news has become a heavily politicized term, however the common-sense definition still applies: “any news that contains intentionally misleading information.” When you see a “news” story, you need to dig a lot deeper than the headline or the text of the article to know whether what you are seeing is fact rather than speculation, opinion, or outright fiction.

Relevant quotes: 

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."  - Aldous Huxley

“Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”-- Jonathan Swift, The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710.

"Skepticism: the mark and even the pose of the educated mind." - John Dewey

Infographic: How to Spot Fake News

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) created the "How to Spot Fake News" infographic that identifies eight simple steps. The infographic is based on a 2016 article and video by FactCheck.org on how to discover the verifiability of "news" that captures your attention.  Links to the article and video appear under the infographic.

How to Spot Fake News infographic

[PDF] [JPG]

If you want to make a translation, contact Karolina Andersdotter or Evgeni Hristov at IFLA Headquarters for an editable version of the infographic. The infographic is published under Creative Commons License. 

Investigating quotes...

How search engines spread misinformation

International Fact-Checking Day

International Fact-Checking Day is promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) in partnership with fact-checking organizations around the world. It is observed annually on April 2nd. Fact-checking shouldn't be something only professional fact-checkers do. An accurate information ecosystem requires everyone to do their part.

Verifcation Handbooks
(for Journalists)

Related Guides

Infographic on value of skepticism

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000