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Fake News vs. Real News: I'm Lost!

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Focus on the big picture

Web tools have made creating online news content, real and fake alike, efficient and far-reaching.  Additionally, our current political climate evokes emotional responses to news that complicate our efforts to recognize and acknowledge our own biases.  As you decide whether a news report is real or fake, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Read extensively.  Doing so ensures you encounter various points of view, and that you gain a long-term perspective on a particular issue.
  • Get comfortable with views and opinions other than your own.  Being challenged in your thinking, even to the point of discomfort, enables you to understand what other people think, and why they think it.  A reasoned, evidence-based argument is always optimal, but you have to know the ins-and-outs of what you disagree with in the first place before you can make such an argument.
  • Be careful with what you create and/or share.  It's simple: If you create a web page of news stories, make sure those stories are credible and verifiable.  If you share what you or someone else has created, make sure what you're sharing is credible and verifiable.  Refer to the "Detect Fake News" section of this guide to know how other people might evaluate what you create and/or share.          

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