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Prepared by
Professor Mark Grabowski
markgrabowski.com
What is fake news?
• Stories that look like real news stories but are
hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation.
• Fake news typically appears on websites that
look professional. The stories often relate to
topics and people who are trending on Google
and Facebook. The stories usually have
outrageous headlines designed to get people
to click.
Why spread fake news?
• Sometimes these stories are created to attract an
audience and the advertising revenues that come
with it. Sometimes these stories are published to
harm someone’s reputation.
Always
been a
problem
Tabloid journalism
Growing problem in recent years
• News is no longer monopolized by “legacy
media” – newspapers, TVs and radio.
• Anyone can start a blog and claim to be a
journalist. Most fake news comes from websites.
• Less librarians, who traditionally taught research
skills.
• Media literacy is no longer taught at many
schools. People are gullible and can’t distinguish
real news from fake, studies show. They view the
media as the monolith.
• Crazy presidential election numbed our sense of
shock. Truth was stranger than fiction.
Consequences
• Fake news sometimes gets more views than
real news.
• Sometimes politicians and professional
journalists even quote fake news stories!
• Sometimes people engage in illegal and
violent behavior as a result of believing a fake
news story.
How to spot fake news
Determine where the info comes from
Looks can be
deceiving: Fake
news sites often
try to mimic real
news sites. For
example, this one
may lead readers
to believe it’s from
Obscure sources
may be OK …
Just because you haven’t heard of a news outlet or website
doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fake. These are all legit.
Pay attention to the URL
• Sites with such endings like .com.co should
make you raise your eyebrows and tip you off
that you need to dig around more to see if
they can be trusted.
• This is true even when the site looks
professional and has semi-recognizable logos.
For example, abcnews.com is a legitimate
news source, but abcnews.com.co is not,
despite its similar appearance.
abcnews.com.co
looks a lot like
the real
abcnews.com
But, look closely.
All the news is
fake.
Read the “About Us” section
• Most sites will have a lot of information about
the news outlet, the company that runs it,
members of leadership, and the mission and
ethics statement behind an organization. The
language used here is straightforward. If it's
melodramatic and seems overblown, you
should be skeptical.
Also, you should be able to find out more
information about the media outlet in places
other than that site.
Examine the sources cited
• Does the story cite and quote credible sources: a
person with a first and last name and a title, such
as Mark Grabowski, professor at Adelphi
University, or Nicholas P. Episcopia, mayor of
Garden City?
• If not, or if they use anonymous sources or vague
references to sources, such as sources said,
according to reports, friends and family say, etc.
be suspicious.
Examples
Popularity doesn’t equal reliability
• A top ranking on Google doesn’t mean an
article is trustworthy. The rankings are based
on several factors, including popularity.
• Just because it’s trending on social media
doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy. Fake news
stories often get more views than real news
stories.
Utilize fact-
checking sites
Fake news stories that
go viral are often
exposed by such
websites as Snopes.com,
FactCheck.org and
FirstDraftNews.com.
Following these sites on
Twitter and Facebook
will yield a steady
stream of informative
posts.
But, fake news lists are often wrong
• Wikipedia has a list of fake news sites, but it
includes some legitimate news sites, such as Vice,
Slate, The Blaze, Daily Beast. Anyone can edit
Wikipedia and sometimes its articles get
vandalized with false info.
• A communication professor created a fake news
list that was widely circulated, but it also contains
legitimate news sites. It appears the professor
had an axe to grind against certain sites.
Other tricky situations
Opinion vs. fact
Biased News
Satire
Satirical commentary TV shows which comment on real-world
news events, such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, or
wholly fictionalized news stories, such as The Onion.
Faux News
“Almost everything about these sites is fake,” said David Vladeck, Director
of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The weight loss results, the
so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the
attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor.
Advertorials
Common on social media
Government-sponsored news
• Many countries do not offer the same press
freedom that the United States does. Media
that is not free and independent should be
viewed skeptically.
• In China, many (but not all) media outlets are
government-run, such as Xinhua, CCTV, and
People's Daily.
• Al Jazeera is owned by Qatar.
Irresponsible journalism
• Sometimes even trusted news outlets spread
fake news. Sources may lie to reporters.
Journalists may fabricate or exaggerate news.
Laziness and deadlines pressures can lead to
mistakes being made. Journalists sometimes
fall victims to pranks or hackers.
Rolling Stone
War
in
Iraq
TV news scandals
Digitally-
altered
images
Final advice
Stop getting your news from social media
Facebook is good for many things, but it’s not a news
source. Facebook’s job is to keep you clicking, and it
does that by tweaking your newsfeed so you only see
what you want to see. Go to Facebook to talk to
friends, but go elsewhere for your news.
Consumer a variety of media
• Some journalists and media outlets do a better
job than others at being impartial. But journalists
are only human, so they’re all at least a little
biased in some way.
• Some media outlets do a better job than other at
covering particular subjects, such as local news,
national politics and international news.
• So, be an eclectic news consumer. Don’t just read
the New York Times or just listen to Rush
Limbaugh. Consume a variety of media.
• But make sure it’s not fake news, of course!
Support good journalism
Ultimately consumers will be the gatekeepers by
deciding who gets clicks, retweets, shares and
which stories don’t get attention.
Do your own newsgathering
• Connect with your local community in person.
Social media and being “too busy” has given
us an excuse to stop talking to each other.
Talk to your neighbors. Talk to strangers while
in line at the grocery store. Get out of your
social media echo chamber and find out
what’s happening in the world. Educate
yourself through conversation.
About the presenter
• Mark Grabowski is a journalism professor at
Adelphi University in New York, a lawyer and a
syndicated columnist. For more info or to
contact him, visit markgrabowski.com.

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Fake news

  • 1. Prepared by Professor Mark Grabowski markgrabowski.com
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. What is fake news? • Stories that look like real news stories but are hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation. • Fake news typically appears on websites that look professional. The stories often relate to topics and people who are trending on Google and Facebook. The stories usually have outrageous headlines designed to get people to click.
  • 8. Why spread fake news? • Sometimes these stories are created to attract an audience and the advertising revenues that come with it. Sometimes these stories are published to harm someone’s reputation.
  • 11. Growing problem in recent years • News is no longer monopolized by “legacy media” – newspapers, TVs and radio. • Anyone can start a blog and claim to be a journalist. Most fake news comes from websites. • Less librarians, who traditionally taught research skills. • Media literacy is no longer taught at many schools. People are gullible and can’t distinguish real news from fake, studies show. They view the media as the monolith. • Crazy presidential election numbed our sense of shock. Truth was stranger than fiction.
  • 12. Consequences • Fake news sometimes gets more views than real news. • Sometimes politicians and professional journalists even quote fake news stories! • Sometimes people engage in illegal and violent behavior as a result of believing a fake news story.
  • 13. How to spot fake news Determine where the info comes from
  • 14. Looks can be deceiving: Fake news sites often try to mimic real news sites. For example, this one may lead readers to believe it’s from
  • 15. Obscure sources may be OK … Just because you haven’t heard of a news outlet or website doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fake. These are all legit.
  • 16. Pay attention to the URL • Sites with such endings like .com.co should make you raise your eyebrows and tip you off that you need to dig around more to see if they can be trusted. • This is true even when the site looks professional and has semi-recognizable logos. For example, abcnews.com is a legitimate news source, but abcnews.com.co is not, despite its similar appearance.
  • 17. abcnews.com.co looks a lot like the real abcnews.com But, look closely. All the news is fake.
  • 18. Read the “About Us” section • Most sites will have a lot of information about the news outlet, the company that runs it, members of leadership, and the mission and ethics statement behind an organization. The language used here is straightforward. If it's melodramatic and seems overblown, you should be skeptical.
  • 19.
  • 20. Also, you should be able to find out more information about the media outlet in places other than that site.
  • 21. Examine the sources cited • Does the story cite and quote credible sources: a person with a first and last name and a title, such as Mark Grabowski, professor at Adelphi University, or Nicholas P. Episcopia, mayor of Garden City? • If not, or if they use anonymous sources or vague references to sources, such as sources said, according to reports, friends and family say, etc. be suspicious.
  • 23. Popularity doesn’t equal reliability • A top ranking on Google doesn’t mean an article is trustworthy. The rankings are based on several factors, including popularity. • Just because it’s trending on social media doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy. Fake news stories often get more views than real news stories.
  • 24. Utilize fact- checking sites Fake news stories that go viral are often exposed by such websites as Snopes.com, FactCheck.org and FirstDraftNews.com. Following these sites on Twitter and Facebook will yield a steady stream of informative posts.
  • 25. But, fake news lists are often wrong • Wikipedia has a list of fake news sites, but it includes some legitimate news sites, such as Vice, Slate, The Blaze, Daily Beast. Anyone can edit Wikipedia and sometimes its articles get vandalized with false info. • A communication professor created a fake news list that was widely circulated, but it also contains legitimate news sites. It appears the professor had an axe to grind against certain sites.
  • 29. Satire Satirical commentary TV shows which comment on real-world news events, such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, or wholly fictionalized news stories, such as The Onion.
  • 31. “Almost everything about these sites is fake,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The weight loss results, the so-called investigations, the reporters, the consumer testimonials, and the attempt to portray an objective, journalistic endeavor. Advertorials
  • 33.
  • 34. Government-sponsored news • Many countries do not offer the same press freedom that the United States does. Media that is not free and independent should be viewed skeptically. • In China, many (but not all) media outlets are government-run, such as Xinhua, CCTV, and People's Daily. • Al Jazeera is owned by Qatar.
  • 35. Irresponsible journalism • Sometimes even trusted news outlets spread fake news. Sources may lie to reporters. Journalists may fabricate or exaggerate news. Laziness and deadlines pressures can lead to mistakes being made. Journalists sometimes fall victims to pranks or hackers.
  • 41. Stop getting your news from social media Facebook is good for many things, but it’s not a news source. Facebook’s job is to keep you clicking, and it does that by tweaking your newsfeed so you only see what you want to see. Go to Facebook to talk to friends, but go elsewhere for your news.
  • 42. Consumer a variety of media • Some journalists and media outlets do a better job than others at being impartial. But journalists are only human, so they’re all at least a little biased in some way. • Some media outlets do a better job than other at covering particular subjects, such as local news, national politics and international news. • So, be an eclectic news consumer. Don’t just read the New York Times or just listen to Rush Limbaugh. Consume a variety of media. • But make sure it’s not fake news, of course!
  • 43. Support good journalism Ultimately consumers will be the gatekeepers by deciding who gets clicks, retweets, shares and which stories don’t get attention.
  • 44. Do your own newsgathering • Connect with your local community in person. Social media and being “too busy” has given us an excuse to stop talking to each other. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to strangers while in line at the grocery store. Get out of your social media echo chamber and find out what’s happening in the world. Educate yourself through conversation.
  • 45. About the presenter • Mark Grabowski is a journalism professor at Adelphi University in New York, a lawyer and a syndicated columnist. For more info or to contact him, visit markgrabowski.com.