Real or Fake News?

Real or Fake News: How to Tell the Difference

Domain and URL

Be wary of sites ending in or any domain names that seem strange.

“About Us” Section

This section will include information about the company, its leadership, and their mission.  You should be able to find information on the leaders of the company from other sources.  If this portion seems dramatic, investigate further.

Reverse Image Search

Right click on the image and choose to search Google.  Does the image show up on many other stories about all different topics?  This image is probably not a picture of what it claims to be.

Lack of Coverage

Is this story being covered by other, reputable news outlets?  If not, you need investigate more. Use, Snopes, or Hoax Slayer to be sure you are NOT reading a hoax.


Most legitimate news will include many quotes from experts (professors, researchers, etc.).  Google the people quoted or studies mentioned.

Need more help?  Try using IMVAIN, as described by Katherine Schulten from the New York Times The Learning Network.


  • Independent sources are preferable to self-interested sources.

  • Multiple sources are preferable to a report based on a single source.

  • Sources who Verify or provide verifiable information are preferable to those who merely assert.

  • Authoritative and/or Informed sources are preferable to sources who are uninformed or lack authoritative background.

  • Named sources are better than anonymous ones.