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Fake News

What is fake news? Why should you care? How can you avoid it? Find out all this and more, in the UVic Libraries Fake News Guide.

Tips for avoiding fake news

Here are a few more things to think about when it comes to avoiding fake news:

  • Keep biases in mind: Read news from a wide variety of sources to ensure that you are getting multiple perspectives. Do you favour one source over another because it’s more reliable, or because it’s confirming what you already believe to be true?
  • Switch up search engines: Google’s algorithm plays a big role in the types of results you see. Try using a search engine such as DuckDuckGo for increased privacy and results that aren’t influenced by Google's user data.
  • Question content that provokes strong emotion: Fake news headlines are often constructed specifically to encourage a strong reaction. Be wary if a headline promotes something that seems too good to be true or evokes outrage regarding a particular topic or event. Remember, provoking intense emotion is one way in which propagators of fake news incite its spread.
  • Don’t take breaking news as fact: News needs time to develop and reach those who report it. Events conveyed as they are happening are likely to be misreported, leading to the spread of untrue or unconfirmed details. See the Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook for more tips for assessing the information coming out of breaking news stories 
  • Be aware that fake news can come in many forms: Fake news doesn’t just spread online. Podcasts, television, print mediums, and academic channels can all harbour mis- and disinformation. Apply tools for spotting fake news in any situation where you aren't absolutely sure of the quality of information you're being provided.
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