Tips for spotting fake news online

There are so many stories and pieces of information flying around on the internet that it can be hard to know what’s real and what’s fake.

Broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake looks at some simple steps which will help separate fact from fiction online.

Don’t let fake news fool you – use these four tips to check anything you read online that you are not sure about:

  1. The story – what are they trying to say? Is it an ad or a joke? Look to see if you can find the same story somewhere else
  2. The author – is it someone’s opinion or a fact? Real news will most likely have a link to the writer’s details, but if there’s no author, dig deeper
  3. The website – are there spelling or grammar mistakes? What’s the URL? Check the address bar at the top – most trusted URLs end with “.com”, “.co.uk”, “.net”, “.gov”, “.org”, “.mil” and “.edu”
  4. The date – is the story recent or old? It could be outdated or a copy of something that happened years ago. Computer programs called bots post anytime and often, so be wary of this.

Where next?

Be social media smart: Is seeing believing?
Fake news and BBC Young Reporter
What are deepfakes and how do they work?
Fact or Fake?