Satire vs. Fake News: Spotting The Fakes

Spotting The Fakes

Fake news stories, headlines, articles, reports, posts, etc. are everywhere on the World Wide Web (WWW) also known as the “Internet” and it can be difficult to determine what’s real news and what is just made up, fabricated, if you will.

You’re in luck, because we can help you understand how to spot a real or genuine satire site, though we can’t help you much with fake news since they are created with the intent to deceive, aimed at readers who mistake the article as real news or genuine news.

For the most part, a satire website will tell you it is such, a disclaimer can be found at the bottom of the site, each page, at the end of an article. The disclaimer will be clear that the information is satire, the contents are made up or not representing the truth, like our disclaimer at the footer, “All articles (posts) are made-up stories and should not be taken seriously. All content is for entertainment and fun, without any compromise with reality.”

Also, satire articles, as it is sad in the disclaimer, is made to entertain, humour. Ok, the article may not be funny or entertaining to some or most, or even be in bad taste, but important IT IS NOT MEANT TO DECIEVE.

Everything on the Internet isn’t true.

Important to understand that just because you read something on the Internet, it doesn’t mean it’s true. The Internet is overflowing with misinformation, inaccuracies (on purpose), speculation and utter nonsense.

Then there are websites, web pages, blogs, etc designed purely to start rumours and/or print outright lies.

So, just because you saw it on the Internet, it doesn’t mean it is true.

Where did you hear the news?

That is the first question popping in the back of your mind. This, the voice in your head, is meant to help you determine how reliable the source is.

Did you see it on Facebook? Well, we all know how ‘accurate’ Facebook posts are. Twitter Reddit? Or some website you have never heard of.

Fake news websites rely on the reader not verifying what they have reard before they pass it on, gullible to believe anything they see posted on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet or assuming the source is legitimate, even when there is doubt.

Making it hard to differntiate between fake and real news is that fake news site will use a typical (real) news site format.

Still not sure?

Read a story on a website but not sure if it is true. Doe a search engine search. Google, for example, does a pretty good job of vetting out fake news sites.

Look up the story, key words, phrases on news sites you have relied in the past. Good chance you won’t find the article. Or any reference to the topic. There may be something similar, but would you buy an apple looking or smelling like an orange?

Typically, but not 100% true (no pun intended), fake news site will publish little else than fake news. They won’t mix real and fake news. Most important, real news sites take their time to vet stories and do not publish fake news.

And if they do by mistake, some reporters, in a rush to get a story out, will skip protocols and publish fake news. A retraction usually follows the report. Sometimes even an apology.

Still in doubt? Check with us. Send me an email, tell me the website and I will do my best to get back to you as-soon-as-possible with the verdict.