Fake news sites have seen a drastic increase recently. These sites have always been around, but in a startling trend, they are becoming more and more mainstream. These sites create fake content with enticing headlines designed to encourage readers to click on them or, even better, share based on the title alone. Sometimes the motivation is political or social: don’t like the narrative around your favorite cause? Rewrite it! Sometimes the motivation is clearly financial. More clicks/shares/likes can mean more traffic on the site and thus more funding from advertisers.

The process of sorting out real news from fake is very similar to the approach scientists take to solving a problem. What are the knowns versus unknowns? What can previous experience tell me? Is the experiment (or the found news item) reproducible?

When you are reading the news, here are six ways that you can separate fact from fiction.

 

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