A variety of fake news detectors and browser plugins or extensions have been created to notify you if a site you're viewing is known for producing false or misleading information. While it's important to develop your own critical thinking, information, and news literacy skills, these plugins are useful.
Caution: Plugins and extensions are only as reliable as their creators and the known list of sites from which they draw. Fake news sites pop up easily and quickly so you may find yourself on a site that the plugin/extension doesn't know about.
You may hear or read attempts to equivocate instances of "fake news" from both sides of the aisle. It even has a very technical name: Whataboutism. This kind of noise is harmful if you take it at face value. Remember to be critical and question these arguments. If the logic falls apart on closer inspection, seek a more credible answer.
Scientific studies are often misunderstood, misrepresented, or cherry-picked for content that is taken out of context in news articles. A few sites have sprung up with the mission to fact-check coverage of science. Interested? Check out the article "Fact-Checking Sites Find Their Way Into Science" by Robin Lloyd from the site Undark, a digital publication supported by the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program.
If you have ever seen an inspirational meme or one using a quote from Abraham Lincoln, you might have taken it for granted that the person who created the meme attributed the quote to the correct person. This is often not the case. However, there are many ways to follow up on a quote if you want to use one correctly. The New York Public Library provides a few tips on how to research a quotation or you can use the links below.
It's easy to find and access content that reinforces our beliefs because your information "diet" is tracked by Google, Facebook, and many other companies that tailor your results and news feeds to what you have previously liked or clicked on. Learn about the dangers of filter bubbles and how you can pop them with this TedTalk from Eli Pariser.
Fake News and the spread of misinformation/disinformation/propganda is linked to memes or images containing messages that cannot be detected by computers and algorithms. The following articles discuss how memes present an additional challenge to controlling the spread of fake news.