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What is "fake news" and how do we avoid it?

Fake News: What is it and why are we obsessed with it?

It all began during the Presidential Campaigns in the Fall of 2016 when some teens in Macedonia made money from fake news stories written as clickbait to draw people in to fake-news sites with titles like “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President.”, “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead of Apparent Murder-Suicide.”, and “Rush Reveals Michelle’s Perverted Past After She Dumps on Trump.” (Pogue) 

The problem is that most people shared these stories over social media where "44 percent of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook." (Pogue)

You may say, "Can't Facebook be responsible for allowing this fake news?" The problem is deeper than that. “Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in response to the phenomenon of fake news. “While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. An even greater volume of stories express opinions that many will disagree with and flag as incorrect even when factual.” (Pogue)

Another issue, according to Janelle Hagen, Middle School Librarian in Seattle, is that students were used to sorting fact from fiction while doing their research. They now need lessons to cover daily life.  She, and other librarians, are "helping students become smarter evaluators of the information that floods into their lives [. . .] in an era in which fake news is a constant." (Large)


Large, Jerry. "Librarians Take Up Arms Against Fake News." The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company, 05 Feb. 2017. Web. 09 Mar. 2017

Pogue, David. "How To Stamp Out Fake News." Scientific American 316.2 (2017): 24. Environment Complete. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

What is your favorite news source?  Where do they fall on the "Media Bias scale"?

Want to be a smarter news consumer? Get your news from several sources on both sides of the scale.

How to Spot Fake News Guide

Not all articles are created equal!

C R A A P   t e s t

Wondering if the article you found online is good enough for your paper? Give it the CRAAP test!

Go here for the entire breakdown.

  1. Currency: timeliness of the information
  2. Relevance: importance of the information for your needs
  3. Authority: source of the information
  4. Accuracy: reliability of the information
  5. Purpose: reason the information exists

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Links and Resources to combat Fake News

"Fake News" Fights Back

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