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Fact or fake — can you tell the difference online?


Copyright: artursz / 123RF Stock Photo

"You don't want to miss this! Using this article twice a day will completely change your life!"

These headlines might be a bit obvious as being fake, and if you've been online at any time, you've probably seen on just like them. So what exactly is this "fake news" you keep hearing about on TV, the web and in social media? And how do you know if what you see is fact or fake? It's important for everyone, especially kids, to learn how to tell what's real online.

There's so much fake news online, but there are some media literacy skills you can use to learn to view what you read with a critical eye. Think about these questions when you look at a piece of media:

  • Who made this? Is it a website you know and trust?
  • Is this the only place you'll find this story? If no one else knows about it, then it might be fake.
  • Who might benefit or be harmed by this message?
  • Is it a comedy or satire website? Some websites look like a regular news site, but the stories are all made to get a laugh. You need to check and make sure — they usually say it right up front.
  • Is this credible and what makes you think that? If it's a story about a miracle cure for a major disease, be skeptical.
  • How does it make you feel? Fake stories try to get strong reaction so if the story you're reading makes you really angry, it could be fake.

Now we have a little quiz for you. Can you tell which headline is the real one? Good luck!


Copyright: Header image: artursz / 123RF Stock Photo