So you’re scrolling through Facebook, wondering why everyone you graduated with is suddenly married or with child.
You’re enjoying some family drama and political fights when you come across an article that seems too good to be true.
“Donald Trump Eats Puppies for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner.”
You may have just come across fake news, but you don’t know how to fact check the article.
What do you do?
Don’t worry, here at The Plainsman our pulitzer-prize winning journalists are trained to get to the bottom of the facts at all costs.
Here are three easy steps to make sure you never get tricked by the fake news plaguing the internet.
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- First, take a look at the subject matter in the article. Is there a clear bias in the writing? More importantly, is it something you disagree with?
If you can answer both questions with an affirmative, there is a good chance the article is fake. Obviously you are an expert on the field, whatever that field may be, as far as you can see it, you are a rogue scholar. If someone is trying to get one over on you it will be made especially clear when you realize they are advocating against your view.
It is especially important with this tip that you have strong opinions and an outright hate for anyone who doesn't share the same view.
Without these attributes, your attempts at finding the truth will end in complete failure.
2. Step two, check to see what publication or website the article comes from. Does it come from a big news corporation? Does it come from a news source boasting decades of experience?
It is imperative that you understand that none of these sources can be trusted.
Big corporate news channels such as CNN, MSNBC, and CBS cannot be trusted to deliver facts without bias.
The same goes for well known publications.
Newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Denver Post, cannot be trusted to deliver facts.
The less well known the source is the better.
Blog as well as websites you have never heard of are the best places to witness real news from the people!
None of these lesser known publications will feature work from the mainstream media, and therefore, it is already almost assured to be trustworthy.
Of course there is one more step needed to guarantee that the article you read is 100% fact packed!
3. Step three involves the most research, and is the last defense against the perversion of truth.
You must always research the author of the article.
Google them hard.
See what they look like.
Do they seem like a jerk?
Find their twitter, see if they tweet anything you don’t agree with.
If you lean right you may search to make sure they aren't a snowflake.
If you lean left you must be on the look-out for any red hats.
What kind of memes do they share?
You can tell a lot about a person by their memes.
If the article is written by someone who is easily accessible, find them on Facebook.
I promise you, it won’t be weird at all.
Look at every post they made going back at least a year.
If you have time and really want to get to the bottom of their obvious bias, go back to the first year they got on Facebook.
If you and the writer’s views coincide, remain friends.
Remember to be supportive of their cause.
If your opinions differ, it’s important to post something rude on every Facebook post they make.
I mean every single one.
If you neglect saying something hateful on just one post, if you give them a break one time, they will never switch to the right side!
Congratulations you just identified fake news, or you just made a new friend!
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