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Fake News & Fact Checking

Tips & Strategies for Fact Checking and Fighting Fake News

Fact Checking

image of the words fact check


Fact checking is one way to identify fake or misleading news.

Resources on this page can help readers evaluate news sources for accuracy and bias. 


Image Source: Fact Check Central

How to Fact Check Like the Pros

Mike Caulfield (author of Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers) recommends taking a fast and efficient approach to fact-checking news sources similar to the strategies used by professional fact-checkers. It is a four-step process:

1. Check for previous work

 Google it or check other fact-checker websites (see below) to see if someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research.

2. Go upstream to the source

Most web content is not original, see if you can get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information.

3. Read laterally

What are other people saying about the source (publication, author, etc.). The truth may be found in the "network."

4. Circle back

If you get lost, or hit dead ends, or find yourself going down an increasingly confusing rabbit hole, back up and start over knowing what you know now. You’re likely to take a more informed path with different search terms and better decisions.

**Good Habit: Check Your Emotions

When you feel strong emotion — happiness, anger, pride, vindication — and that emotion pushes you to share a “fact” with others, STOP. Above all, it’s these things that you must fact-check.

comic image: "Did you fact check this before reposting it? I don't need to. It agrees with my preconceived views and biases so it must be true!"

How to Spot Fake News also provides advice on how to systematically put your skepticism to use. IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institution) created a handy infographic to help remember the strategies in several languages: 

Consider the source: Search the Internet to find out what they are about
Read beyond the headline: Headlines often do not reflect the actual story
Check the author: Search the Internet for the author to find out who they are
What’s the support: Click on any provided links to make sure they support the story
Check the date: Make sure it is not "old news"
Is it a joke: Make sure you are not falling for satire
Check your biases: Is this something you want to believe?


How to spot fake news  How to spot fake news graphic (spanish)   How to spot fake news (korean)

Image source:

Video: How to Spot Fake News | The Washington Post