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Recognise Fake News Checklist

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Recognise Fake News Checklist

Fake news articles have become rampant across the internet. They are especially present at times of elections or the need for important decisions.  Sadly they have become increasingly present on social media.

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These stories/images are designed to deceive and set a seed of thought and quickly travel virally across the internet to like-minded people.

It can take time before people discover the stories they shared on social media may have been false or distorted. 

There are a few checks you can take to prevent being duped by false facts and sharing fake news.

Prevent yourself from being misled.

Recognise Fake News Checklist

Stories / images are designed to deceive
Not Just Headlines

Look past the headline and read a few paragraphs.

Are they providing evidence to to back it up claims? Factual information?

Trustworthy Source

Is the website plastered with adverts or headlines in bold caps headlines should draw immediate skepticism

Confirm not a hoax site, mimicking a trusted major news outlets. Check out other articles they are publishing.

Recent News

Old articles and events often reappear to make people to believe they just happened.

Check what date the news was published on.


Look at author’s previous published articles to show whether they are a legitimate journalist or have a history of hoaxes and fake news.


Where are the article links going to? Links can generate income for the website owner.

Quick check is whether the website is plastered with adverts to try and get you to click through?

Reliable Sources

Are they providing links or sources to trustworthy factual content?

Fake news websites can provide numerous links to other websites that appear to back up the claims they are promoting, but they can also be spreading misinformation.


Are they real or invented false quotes?

Be skeptical if sharing shocking and suspicious quotes especially if attributing them to major public figures.

Quick test is doing a google search to see if being reported elsewhere.


Is the image from where they are saying it is? Photos can come from one event but saying it’s from another.

Quick Test Reverse image searches to find out where the image originated.

Reinforce Bias

Has the article been designed to stir up emotion and prey on biases?

People are drawn to stories that reinforce bias and the way they see the world.

Is the article based on facts?

Grand Claims

Grand claims of major news or information. Is it an exclusive story? These are suspicious headlines.

Quick check if any reliable news source are also reporting, then it’s very likely to be fake.

Viral Fake News

Fake news relies on people sharing, liking and engaging for them to spread.

Check out the facts before you share.

Frequently asked questions
Looking for more info? Here are some things we're commonly asked
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