Spotting fake news

Can you believe everything you read? Not always. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between real-life headlines and made-up ones—especially on the Internet. And some people try to trick you on purpose. Follow these tips for sniffing out fake news.

Does the story come from a newspaper, magazine, or website you’ve never heard of?

“Well-known news sources aren’t likely to try to fool you,” says Eric Carvin, social media editor for the Associated Press. “If you haven’t heard of a publication, do some research on how trustworthy they are before you take what they say as fact. Have they been accused of publishing fake news before? Then they may not be reliable.”

Is just one newspaper, magazine, or website reporting on the story?

“If a story is real, then many publications will cover it,” Carvin says. “Big national stories worth reporting on are usually featured in more than just one or two articles.”

Is the story missing key information?

“If no experts or eyewitnesses are mentioned in the article, that’s a warning sign,” Carvin says. “Most publications try to speak with at least two sources to back up a story.”

Flip through a gallery of phony photos and learn how the shot was created