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Fighting fake news

What is fake news?

Fighting fake news logo

We all share things for different reasons. Perhaps it's an interesting story, news about a celebrity that you like, or something that made you laugh. But when you see something you like online, do you check to make sure that it's true before you share it?

Fake news is news or stories on the internet that are not true. There are two kinds of fake news:

False stories that are deliberately published or sent around, in order to make people believe something untrue or to get lots of people to visit a website. These are deliberate lies that are put online, even though the person writing them knows that they are made up.

Stories that may have some truth to them, but they're not completely accurate. This is because the people writing them - for example, journalists or bloggers - don't check all of the facts before publishing the story, or they might exaggerate some of it.

It is happening a lot at the moment, with many people publishing these stories in order to get as many shares as possible. Now that we have social media, it is much easier for these stories to spread quickly, which can be a problem. It is also easier than it used to be to edit photos, and create fake websites and stories that look realistic.

How can you spot it?

If you want to try to make sure that you don't get caught out by fake news, there a few things you can look out for.

Ask yourself:

  • Has the story been reported anywhere else?
  • Is it on the radio, TV or in the newspapers?
  • Have you heard of the organisation that published the story?
  • Does the website where you found the story look genuine? (meaning it doesn't look like a copycat website that's designed to look like another genuine website)
  • Does the website address at the very top of the page look real? Is the end of the website something normal like '.co.uk' or '.com', and not something unusual, like 'com.co'?
  • Is the photo/video on the article out of shape or blurry
  • Does the story sound believable?
  • Is the social media account/page officially verified?

If the answer to any of these questions is 'no', you might want to check it out a bit more, before spreading the word.

Trusted websites

Here are a few trusted sites you may wish to bookmark on your internet browser:

Trusted Library e-resources

Here are some of the available free to use Library e-resources, to access these resources you will need your Library card and four digit pin number, Don't have a Library card join here and then request your pin number here

And of course www.coventry.gov.uk/libraries you can follow us on Twitter & Facebook for more articles like this and news of upcoming events.

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