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Keepin' It Real: Tips & Strategies for Evaluating Fake News

Inauguration Day Teach-in 2017

What is Fake News?

What is Fake News?

  • Authentic material used in the wrong context 
  • Imposter news sites designed to look like brands we already know
  • Fake news sites
  • Fake information 
  • Manipulated content 
  • Parody content

A more comprehensive list of fake news can be found at the Daily Dot.

How does Fake News spread?

We know that the creators of fake news and fake news sites check verified news sources. They use facts from these verified news outlets and layer it with misinformation to confuse the reader. When confronted by both the fake news and verified news, people tend to discount both the misinformation and the facts. That's the power of fake news.

Additionally, most adults use social media to get their news. Columbia Journalism Review reports that 30% of fake news can be linked back to Facebook while only 8% of verified news is linked from Facebook. There are fewer fake news sources than verified news sources but with social media, their reach is that much more pronounced.

How do we handle Fake News?



By the end of this talk, there will be 864 more hours of video on YouTube and 2.5 million more photos on Facebook and Instagram. So how do we sort through the deluge? At the TEDSalon in London, Markham Nolan shares the investigative techniques he and his team use to verify information in real-time, to let you know if that Statue of Liberty image has been doctored or if that video leaked from Syria is legitimate.  


Fight Fake News

Take Action and combat Fake News!

Here are 6 ways you can make a difference NOW by evaluating and engaging.


1. Think before you share. Read the entire piece before you decide whether or not to share.

2. Verify an unlikely story. Check out some of the tools listed below.

3. Install B.S. Detector, a browser extension that identifies stories from sites that produce clickbait, fake news, and other suspect stories.

4. Help debunk fake news.

5. Rethink your news diet. Expand your information network to include diverse perspectives from quality sources.

6. Evaluate your news using IMVAIN

The bedrock method of deconstruction: Each source in a news report is evaluated using the “IMVAIN” rubric and you can to:

  • Independent sources are preferable to self-interested sources.
  • Multiple sources are preferable to a report based on a single source.
  • Sources who Verify or provide verifiable information are preferable to those who merely assert.
  • Authoritative and/or Informed sources are preferable to sources who are uninformed or lack authoritative background.
  • Named sources are better than anonymous ones.

Tools for Verifying

Verify, cross-check, and compare content you see online to avoid spreading "fake news."

Here are few basic tools to get you started:


Fact Checkers


Verify Webpage History


Verify Images


Found an image you think may have been manipulated or photo-shopped? Use these tools to check for any digital changes:

Want more tools? Check out the Verification Handbook's List of Tools