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Evaluating news: Fake News & Beyond

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Stop by the library (Bldg. 5, 2nd floor) in person, or contact us via email or on the phone (650-738-4311). Don't be shy; we're here to help you and no question is too basic to ask.

Tips on identifying fake news

  • When you open up a news article in your browser, open a second, empty tab.  Use that second window to look up claims, original document or information, author credentials, and organizations that you come across in the article.
  • Fake news spans across all kinds of media - printed and online articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, radio shows, even still images. Be prepared to double-check everything.
  • Beware of confirmation bias.  Just because you might agree with what an article is saying doesn't mean it's true.
  • As Mad-Eye Moody said in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"Constant Vigilance!" 
  • Always be ready to fact check.
  • Even the best researchers will be fooled once in a while.  If you find yourself fooled by a fake news story, use your experience as a learning tool.
  • Be suspicious of pictures! Not all photographs tell the truth or unfiltered truth. Images are normally edited or processed, but sometimes they are digitally manipulated. Some are born digital. A Google reverse image search can help discover the source of an image and its possible variations. 


Install BS Detector, a Chrome extension, to alert you when you are reading fake news. To install the plugin, go to Chrome Web Store and add it to your browser. Once you have it up and running, it automatically detects and labels news from outlets that are known to spread false or misleading information on a regular basis and flags it with a red banner reading:"WARNING: THIS MAY NOT BE A RELIABLE SOURCE (FAKE NEWS)"‚Äč