Fighting fake news

Fake news refers to published articles, stories, images or videos that are not true. There are two kinds of fake news:

  1. Misinformation = you think it is true, but it is not
  2. Disinformation = intentionally false and intended to deceive or mislead

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) that fake news can be spread quickly, and it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. This makes it harder to make informed decisions. Addressing this problem requires technology, education, and responsible AI usage to limit the spread of fake news.

  • Use reputable and trusted sources
  • Cross-check information and use fact-checking sites
  • Think before you share sensational or unverified claims
  • Encourage media literacy and critical thinking
  • Report fake news and scams to help stop the spread

Fact-checking browser extensions

Consider installing browser extensions like NewsGuard or SurfSafe, which provide real-time fact-checking and reliability ratings for websites.

Fact-checking websites

Fact-checking resources help to encourage critical thinking, combat misinformation and make informed decisions based on accurate information.

  • Full Fact: Full Fact is the UK's independent fact-checking organisation. They provide accurate and impartial information on a wide range of topics, including politics, health, and the economy.
  • BBC Reality Check: The BBC's Reality Check team verifies and fact-checks claims made by politicians, public figures, and the media.
  • Channel 4 FactCheck: Channel 4 News has a dedicated FactCheck team that examines claims made by politicians and public figures and provides analysis based on evidence.
  • Reuters Fact Check: Reuters is a reputable news agency that offers a fact-checking section to verify and debunk false information circulating online and in the media.
  • Fact-Checking Organizations International (FCOI): FCOI is an alliance of fact-checkers from around the world, and their website provides resources and information on fact-checking.
  • Media Bias/Fact Check: While not a fact-checking site per se, it provides information on the bias and fact-checking accuracy of various news sources.
  • Google Fact Check Explorer: Google's Fact Check Explorer allows you to search for fact-check articles and claims related to specific topics.

Resources for children and young people

Online resources and websites for children and young people to learn about fake news and develop information literacy skills.

  • The National Literacy Trust: Teaching resources, lesson ideas and activities for primary and secondary schools. The charity has also produced advice for parents and carers.
  • BBC Own It: The BBC Own It website provides advice and resources for children, including tips on identifying fake news and staying safe online.
  • BBC bitesize educational resources, articles and quizzes
  • NewsWise: in collaboration with The Guardian, offers a range of free resources and activities to help children in the UK navigate news and information critically.
  • Childnet Helpful information and guidance on a range of key online safety topics.
  • Internet Matters supported by UK Internet providers, this site is aimed at parents helping to keep their children and teenagers safe online, at home and in school.
  • UK Safer Internet Centre: The UK Safer Internet Centre provides resources for young people, parents, and educators to promote online safety and digital literacy, including dealing with misinformation.
  • The Reading Agency: The Reading Agency promotes reading for pleasure and provides resources for educators to encourage critical thinking and analysis of texts.

Watch a video

  • How does fake news spread? - BBC Bitesize Video We all love a bit of drama, but usually that’s how fake news spreads. Often scandalous stories are written to make us feel angry, sad, surprised or shocked – anything to get us to share!
  • Fake news video - Internet Matters How to equip children to tell fact from fiction - What's fake news and what steps can you take to help your child spot it?
  • NCSC interactive video - Interactive Video for 11-14 years. Watch the CyberFirst Navigators: The narrative explores some of the most common cyber scams and malicious activity that a teenage internet-user may come across.

Try a quiz

  • NewsWise headlines quiz Fake or Real? All these stories were published online, but only some of them are real - some of them are made up! Can you use your Fake News Detective skills to identify which stories are real and which are fake?
  • CBBC Quiz: Real or fake news? CBBC Newsround quiz - Real or Fake News. Can you spot which of these news articles are real and which are fake?
  • Find the fake quiz - Internet Matters Select an age-appropriate quiz to play as a family (parents versus children) to learn and test your knowledge on what fake news, disinformation and misinformation is and how to stop it from spreading.
  • BBC Bitesize Quiz: Can you spot the signs of fake news? It’s getting harder to tell what’s real and what’s not on our social media feeds and online, but there are some simple things to look out for to separate the facts from the fakes. How many signs you can spot in this quiz?
  • BBC Quiz: AI or real? Can you tell the difference between a real video or picture, or one that has been generated by artificial intelligence (AI)? Have a go and let’s see if you can spot the REAL from the AI!
  • BBC AI quiz: Test your knowledge of AI How much do you know about Artificial Intelligence? As the technology rapidly advances, test your knowledge of how AI affects life now and its possible impacts in the near future.
  • NCSC - Cyber Sprinter - teach children aged 7 to 11 how to stay secure online a fun, free, interactive way for children to understand how to make good choices to protect themselves, their devices and any online accounts.
  • EngaData Wheel - Spin the wheel to explore and learn about how to engage through data for making decisions on how data can benefit individuals and the society.

How to report

  • Social media platforms: Most social media platforms have reporting mechanisms for fake news, false information, and scams. Look for options like "Report Post" or "Flag as Fake News" on the platform you are using.
  • Action Fraud: Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report instances of online fraud, including scams and fake news, through their website.
  • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA): If the fake news is related to misleading advertising or promotions, you can report it to the ASA, which regulates advertising in the UK.
  • Ofcom: If the fake news involves broadcasting or telecommunications, you can report it to Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator
  • Online Safety Helpline: The UK Safer Internet Centre operates an Online Safety Helpline that you can contact for advice and support related to online safety issues, including fake news.

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. If you don't have a Library card join the library and then request your pin number here.

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