8 easy tips to help you work out if you're reading 'fake news' or the real thing

Associated Press
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Hint: Kim Jong-un being named Sexiest Man Alive was satire. Not real news!

There's a lot of fake news floating around these days - and it's important to learn to spot the difference between fake and real news, and not to spread false information. Here's some tips to help you make sure that what you're reading is real:

  • Does the URL look odd? That “com.co” ending on an otherwise authentic-looking website is a red flag. When in doubt, click on the “Contact” and “About” links to see where they lead. A major news organisation probably isn’t headquartered in a house.
  • Does it make you mad? False reports often target emotions with claims of outlandish spending or unpatriotic words or deeds. If common sense tells you it can’t be true, it may not be.
  • Is anyone else reliable talking about it? If it’s real, other news sites are likely reporting it.
  • How is the writing? Caps lock and multiple exclamation marks don’t have a place in most real newsrooms.

What is news? What does being a journalist involve? The YP editor reveals all

  • Who are the writers and the people in the story? Google names for clues to see if they are legitimate, or not.
  • What are fact-checking sites like Snopes.com and FactCheck.org finding?
  • It might be satire, such as The Onion. Sometimes foolish stories aren’t really meant to fool.
  • Think twice before sharing. Today, everyone is a publisher.