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Is This Tweet Fake?
Check the account history of the source. Some red flags to look for are the number of posts and how long the account has been active.
If it claims to be a well-know source (like CNN or CBS) and only has a few posts in its history that is a clue. If it's a well-know source and the account has only been active a short time that is another red flag.
Also look to see if the account is verified by Twitter. Verified accounts are denoted by a blue checkmark badge:
So I Saw This Meme on Facebook
How to evaluate political and current events news you see on social media
What did you see?
- Is it a meme shared on Facebook? These can be very entertaining, but they aren’t typically based on fact.
- Try Googling the information on the meme to see what websites come out to support or refute it.
- Is it a satire site such as The Onion? Satire is a legitimate form of political commentary, but it isn’t meant to express the literal facts.
- Is it a nonpartisan site such as politifact.com or snopes.com? You can usually trust these. Is it from a major newspaper such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or the Washington Post? These are usually fact-based.
- Is more than one news source reporting on the event or issue, or just one? Can you find peer-reviewed journal articles or library books about the general topic? Even though these may not contain information on specific very recent news items, you can get a good factual background from them.
What should you look for?