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Have you ever found yourself drawn to a news story on Facebook, and later found out that it’s simply not true? Often it will be that a famous person has died, or perhaps a politician is reported as saying something that sounds completely sensational or out of character.

Other times an article will tempt you with a line such as ‘you won’t believe what this celebrity looks like now!’ But when you click through you can clearly see that it is a photoshopped image and a poorly written article.

There are even whole websites who publish satirical news. But for those who don’t know that it’s satire, they may end up reading and sharing the story as though it is true.

Whether it’s completely incorrect ‘news’ or just someone bending the truth, it’s actually quite easy to spot the fact from the fiction.

Who is the source? If the article is published from a well-known newspaper or news site, you can usually assume it is real. Quickly check the way that the website is written and make sure it is their official site (for instance a fake news site might not end with .com).

Is it on several news sites? Big news like a famous singer passing away is not going to be revealed on one site – it would be everywhere. So before you go sharing the ‘news’ that your 70’s heartthrob has died, check on Google to see if the information is written anywhere else.

Who are they quoting? If an article states that a quote has come ‘from a close friend’ of a celeb, for instance, there is a good chance that this is made up. If the quote has come from someone well known, you can always do a quick search online and see whether the quote is in fact legitimate. If the story is about a company, have they used any quotes from the company itself? Any good journalist would want to get a word or two from the source if it were in fact real.

Have you been duped into thinking some online “news” was actually real? We would love to hear your story.

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