Fake News: Determining a Source

by Travis Sherrill

How do you know something might not be valid?

Unfortunately, in today’s society, lots of articles we read, videos we watch, news stories we hear, or even entire websites cannot be considered valid. So, the question becomes, how can we check the validity of a source?

The sources might not be verified. Does the article contain links to other sites that are external, or are different sites referenced? Does the author of a particular article quote that have authority or who are experts in that particular field?

Emotional appeal, Is the article playing on your feelings? Does it make you happy, angry, or scared?

Expert authors, Does the author provide credentials or tell more about their authority to write on that particular subject matter?

Other sources, Can the main idea of the article be found on other news outlets? Can you find other news articles that back up the same ideas or information?

Finally, Website extension, Is the information coming from a .com, .gov, or .edu site, or is it coming from something like a .com.co or other editions. .com, .gov, and .edu sites are typically most reliable, while .com.co sites are similar to the real thing but are often fake. An example of this is abcnews.com.co.

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