A Visual Take

5 Ways to Spot and Stop Fake News. Don’t get taken in. Take a moment to think before you click - and share. Consider the source: Strange domain names or web sites that end in "lo" (like "Newslo") are signs you should be wary. Check the URL: Fake news sites will often use a web address designed to make it look like real site, ending in ".com.co" Look for visual clues: Fake news websites may use sloppy or unprofessional design and overuse ALL CAPS. Get a second opinion: If a story makes you very angry, dig deeper; consult other news sources or use debunking sites.   Put your browser to work: Consider installing one of the browser plugins listed on this page to flag fake news in real time. When in doubt… ask a librarian! ask.library.harvard.edu Source: An informal list compiled by Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor at Merrimack College

Library Resources

Using library databases is a near-foolproof way to find credible information.

News databases:   U.S. government information and background:


Reports from Harvard and other universities:

Fake news and the spread of misinformation

From the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, links to peer-reviewed articles.

NiemanReports: Election '16: Lessons for Journalism

From the Nieman Foundation at Harvard; several articles on fake news and news literacy

Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning

Stanford University study on high school and college students (lack of) news literacy

Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation

Report from Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Selected News Articles:

Media's Next Challenge: Overcoming the Threat of Fake News (New York Times)

For the 'new yellow journalists', opportunity comes in clicks and bucks (Washington Post)

This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook (Buzzfeed)

Sites for Journalists:


Journalist's Toolbox

Fact-Checking Sites and Plug-Ins

Fact-Checking Sites:

Browser Plug-ins:


Tips for Analyzing News Sites

Tips for analyzing news sites, and an informal list compiled by Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor at Merrimack College.