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Orange Park: Information Literacy

700 Blanding Blvd. Ste. 16 Orange Park, FL 32605

What is Fake News?

Fake news: false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared online for the purpose of generating ad revenue via web traffic or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc.

Sorting Good Information from Bad

Non Partisan Fact Checking Sites

Politifact– PolitiFact rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. 

Fact Check–  They monitor the factual accuracy of what major U.S. political players say in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.  

Open Secrets–  tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.  Open Secrets are the best source for discovering how much and where candidates get their money.  They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.

Snopes– Snopes has been the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation for a long time. 

Poynter Institute– The Poynter Institute is not a fact-checking service. They are, however, a leader in distinguished journalism and produce nothing but credible and evidence-based content.  

Flack Check–. The site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular.

Truth or Fiction– Very similar to Snopes.  They tend to focus more on political rumors and hoaxes.

Fact Checker by the Washington Post– Their fact checks are excellent and sourced; however, their bias is reflected in the fact that they fact-check right-wing claims more than left.  

Educate yourself

Program by Google to teach kids how to be smart about online matter



Beyond Fake News - 10 Types of Misleading News

Evaluating News Sources for Bias

Fighting Fake News

Some Rules of thumb:

Check About and About Me pages: Clicking on or investigating authors' names to consider their credentials in context should be a regular part of the research journey.  (See other tricks below.)

Interrogate URLs: We see quite a bit of domain manipulation these days. For instance, what looks like a .edu domain, followed by .co or “lo,” is likely a fake or deceptive site.  If you are seeing a slightly variant version of a well-known URL, do a little investigating.

Suspect the sensational: When we see something posted that looks sensational, it is even more important to be skeptical. Exaggerated and provocative headlines with excessive capital letters or emotional language are serious red flags.

Go back to the source: When an article mentions a study, go directly to the source and check its bona fides as well.

Go back to the story again (and again): When was the story written? What is its context? Breaking news will continue to break. Early reports are built from limited information, so you’ll want to watch a story grow into a fuller picture.

Think outside the reliability box: The old checklist-type tools we used to evaluate websites do not necessarily work. ACRL’s Framework reminds us that the notion of reliability can be fluid. Experts know how to seek authoritative voices but recognize that unlikely voices can be authoritative, depending on need

Triangulate: Try to verify or corroborate the information from multiple sources, including traditional media and library databases. You can rule out the hoaxes by checking out sites like the nonprofit nonpartisan or popular sites like

What exactly are you reading?: Even when you find yourself in a traditional news site, identify what type of writing you are reading. Is it news reporting, a feature story, an editorial, work by a guest blogger, a review, an op-ed, a disguised ad, or a comment?

Check your own search attitude and biases: Is your search language biased?  Are you paying more attention to the information confirming your beliefs and ignoring evidence that does not?

Use a little energy: Have you simply satisfied or done your due diligence in seeking and validating the best possible sources across media sources?

Stop before you forward (or use): When you see a widely shared or forwarded link, be suspicious of a hoax or a fake story.  Can you verify the information outside of the social media platform on which you discovered it?

Be suspicious of pictures!: Not all photographs tell the truth or unfiltered truth. Images are normally edited or processed, but sometimes they are digitally manipulated. Some are born digital. A Google reverse image search can help discover the source of an image and its possible variations.

Consortium of Education Affiliates Libraries