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Bias, Fake News, Hoaxes, & Lies

Strategies and guidelines for detecting bias, lies, fake news, misinformation, propaganda. Don't be fooled!

About fact checkers

On this page you will find a list of fact checkers, links to some examples of fake news sites, satire sites, tips on how to become your own fact checker, examples of bogus or hoax web sites, and some interesting articles about fake news. So many fact-checking sites! Some focus on politics, others on viral memes or urban myths, some focus on conspiracy theories. The Media Bias / Fact Check site (see link in list) rates fact checkers for accuracy and bias, so that's a good starting point for beginners.

List of Fact Checkers, A-Z

How to Fact-Check

Learn how to be a fact checker! Find out for yourself and make up your own mind! Avoid being lied to, misled, or manipulated!  

The "Evaluation Checklists" listed under the tab with that label are just a starting point, and are only useful for one episode or issue. You need to learn how to spot fakes, frauds, and bias in your every day life and work. Listed below are some strategies for ongoing awareness and accurate perception.

A GOOGLE SEARCH usually works to quickly and easily find corroborating or contradicting evidence, or a site where the claim has been definitively proven or disproven. Just add the words Fact Check to your subject word searching.

CHECK CREDENTIALS of panel members, pundits, and so-called experts. Often the moderator of a panel will provide that information along with the member's name and affiliation. If not, Google is your best friend for finding out who is a real authority and who is just a talking head.

FOLLOW THE NEWS regularly, every day if you can. Daily news builds into weekly, monthly, yearly awareness based on your experience and memory over time. Most newsworthy events are the result of developments over time; the only way to become aware of that is by following the news regularly.

FOLLOW A VARIETY OF SOURCES, don't rely on just one channel or media source. Look for the best sources from both conservative and liberal perspectives. Look for a variety of media types, printed or digital: newspapers, magazines, radio or podcasts, blogs, feeds, social media.

COMPARE SOURCES from multiple media outlets with a range of perspectives. The truth lies somewhere in the intersection or overlapping of varied perspectives.

FOLLOW-UP WITH EXPERTS and sources that have authority. Check library resources, which are carefully selected by librarians, who specifically look for sources that are free of bias and error. Check historical or back ground information sources, usually available at any library, Ask your professors who are experts in a range of subjects.

BE WARY OF IMAGES such as Facebook memes, where an image is combined with a slogan or "wise saying" of some kind. Images can be extremely manipulative, and can affect you in ways you don't understand and without your conscious knowledge. Images combined with slogans are a well known propaganda tool. Analyzing images can be challenging, with few evaluation tools available. See link below to "Semiotics" which may be the best framework to apply. See link below for instructions on how to verify images.

MONITOR YOUR EMOTIONS. Does the "news" make you angry? Afraid? Anxious? Does it make you laugh? Feel nostalgic, romantic, warm n fuzzy? Strong emotional responses are a tip-off that what you are reading just might be designed and intended to do that and the actual content might just be totally fake.

BE SKEPTICAL OF EVERYTHING, even your own thinking and feeling. Consider that, while they might be wrong, it's also possible that you might be wrong. Examine premises, ask questions, get more solid information from a range of sources.

RESERVE JUDGMENT. You don't have to decide immediately if something you see, hear, or read, is good, bad, or indifferent, fake or true, or biased. You can wait for more information. You can seek out more information. Save yourself the stress.

Sites Known for Fake News

Sites Known for Satire

Sites Known as Bogus or Hoaxes

Articles about fake news

AI-Generated Content

As the use of artificial intelligence tools like Chat-GPT becomes more widespread, you are likely to find low-quality sources using these tools unethically. Many sites have been found using AI-generated text to mass-produce low-quality articles, videos, and other forms of online content. These sites may aim to spread misinformation, hate, and a biased worldview. Many of these types of resources are profit-driven, aiming to get clicks or views on their content and thereby farm ad-revenue. 

The websites and articles listed below will help you learn to identify AI-generated text and content farms: