How to Know if a Website is Fake News
Now that the word “fake news” has become mainstream, we ask ourselves the question “How to Spot a Fake News Website?”.
Let’s face it, most people read the news or watch news on the TV just because they are bored, they think that “knowing” about what is going on in the world might help them kill their boredom and give them something to think about or talk about in some random conversation with a co-worker or family member. With so many news portals, TV channels and radio updates, how can we tell the blatant “fake news” from the regular “probably not fake news”.
Some will tell you that even websites such as CNN.com are prone to posting “fake” news on their site, well this is a subject for a different article. What we are trying to help you with is spotting the 100% really totally fake news websites that are sprouting like mushrooms after a rainy day in the past few years on the web.
Don’t Always Trust Google
Although we all love Google, one thing that Google is NOT good at is spotting fake new websites. Google uses an algorithm that checks metrics and user behavior and relevance / freshness among other things (over 200 metrics) in order to show us the search results. Furthermore, the advertisements on top of the regular results that we are shown are sold to the highest bidder. So if you are searching for the latest updates about ISIS or trying to found out if Putin is to blame for the situation in the Ukraine, Google will show you what it’s algorithm has chosen and not what actual people have decided is the most unbiased and truthful news.
Know the Difference Between Opinion and News
Many news outlets, radio shows, websites and TV channels will show us an opinion of a certain group, writer, outlet or individual who is not talking about the facts as they happen and is not posting a news update about a certain event as it is happening. If you listen to too many opinion segments or read too many opinion articles you might be getting only half of the picture. Try to stick to the real facts and make up your own mind about things. Opinions are an easy way to FAKE or twist or spin any story. Facts are always closes to the truth.
If You Have Never Heard of the Website, Don’t Believe a Word That is Written There
If you are arriving at a website you have never seen before and have never heard of before, stay away. Most of us know the names of trustworthy news websites and outlets, we may not remember them all by heart but we will probably remember them all once we read the logo and name of the website domain. For example if I click a link in my social media feed that seems like an interesting news article and arrive at a website called “Factual News Updates” and the domain name of the website is factualnewsupdates.com and I can not recall ever hearing the name of any news agency called “Factual News Updates” then I will not waste my time, however bored I may be, on reading news from that website because there is a good chance all the news there is fake.
If The Website Has Weird Adds, It’s Probably Fake
A lot of fake news websites make their money by selling ad spots on their websites. These adds are usually adds that say things like “The Perfect Remedy For Hair-loss” or “The New Pill That Will Make You Smarter” and stuff like that. People that don’t know that the internet is full of fake information often will click these adds and be duped into buying a hair-loss remedy that doesn’t work or a supplement pill that is a waste of money.
If you see these types of adds on a news website, the website is most definitely a fake news portal.
Use Your Brain
However thrilling it may be, reading a news article that tells you something crazy, try to use your brain to spot that it is probably fake. If the headline reads something like “Putin Asks Obama To Have an Orgy With an Orangutan” well then, you see where this is going. Sometimes we as humans get so bored that our basic logic circuits tend to shut down from time to time, while surfing the web and reading news try to use your brain to tell the difference between logical and non-logical or fake news websites.