Fake News: Fake news

student guide for detecting fake news and finding reliable information

Artificial intelligence and fake news

Artificial intelligence changing politics with fake images and videos (2:42 minutes) NBC News clip

Where does fake news come from?

Who starts fake Covid news?

Fake News Generator: Who starts viral misinformation? - BBC News (2:44 minutes) Conspiracy theories and speculation about coronavirus have flooded social media. But who starts these rumors? And who spreads them? 

Go deeper into misinformation

Protect yourself from misinformation and other forms of fake news with these steps:

Multiple studies have shown that false news spreads faster than true news on social media. (Example). Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are being used to create powerful disinformation campaigns.   Use these tips to protect yourself from lies and hoaxes.

1.  Slow down and take a second look!  Watch for these red flags    red flag

  • no listing of the source of the picture or information
  • strange web address (example abcnews.com.co)
  • purposeful evoking of outrage or other strong emotions
  • logic-defying pictures or text
2.  Do a web search to find other sources for the story. But be careful! There may be lots of sites that link to stories with the same misinformation. Research studies show that people who "do the research" about a false story may become MORE likely to believe it because their Google search retrieves low-quality results that reinforce the fake or misleading story. Unless you find the story in a trusted site, keep investigating. 
3.  Look up the story in a trusted fact checking site. (See recommended fact checking tools below.)
4.  Find the original source of an image through Tin Eye or a Google image search.  
5.  Look for the story in a trusted news source or library database. (See next tab for recommended trusted news sources.)  
6.  Use your own critical thinking skills. Is the story emotionally manipulative? Does this story really make sense?

Fact checking resources

Tips for fact checking! Use the websites below to help you determine the reliability and bias of the information provided by a source. For example, look up the claims, author credentials and organization names mentioned in the source.

Source evaluation resources

7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

7 types of mis- and dis-information graphic


From Information Disorder, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School


Tips for detecting fake news

How to spot fake news chart

From the International Federation of Library Associations. Click image or here to download pdf. 

Sort Fact from Fiction Online with Lateral Reading

Read the web like a fact checker with lateral reading. From Stanford History Education Group (3:47 minutes)

Recommended books about misinformation

Contact the editor of this guide

Contact librarian Roberta Richards

  • rrichard@pcc.edu
  • Southeast LIB 206
  • 971-722-4962

Roberta's appointment calendar: