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Spotting Misinformation

Is it fake news? Is it misinformation? It’s important to know how to identify misinformation and address it in your community.

4 Tips to Spot Misinformation

Misinformation is false or inaccurate information. As you watch or read the news through television, newspaper or social media, try these tips to confirm the truth:

  1. Confirm the source Who wrote the information? Are you looking at the original article or piece of information or someone’s retelling of it? Where was the account or website or piece of content created? Why was it created?
  2. Review the date of the article or video and closely inspect the image. Often information is outdated or old images are used to persuade readers of information that is not true.
  3. Who else is sharing this story? Is this information simply hearsay from people in your community or are many reliable news outlets covering the story?
  4. Does it make you feel scared or angry? Misinformation tries to make us angry or scared about something.

4 Responses to Misinformation

When you see or hear misinformation on social media or among family and friends, it’s important to speak up. Try these steps to make your message persuasive:

  1. Lead with kindness. Try to understand the perspective of the other person and show empathy.
  2. Tell them why the information they shared is incorrect. Show that you care about them and use words like “we” and “us.”
  3. Offer alternative content from a trusted source. This gives your friend the chance to continue sharing information without spreading misinformation.
  4. Reinforce the correct fact.

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