Sunday, 1 January 2017

Web site(s) of the month - fact checking

There is an increasing amount of fake news out there, especially on social media, as well as Internet and email scams. Indeed the term "post truth" was the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year.

In this context, how do you know if the Tweet, Facebook post or email you get contains genuine information, a hoax, a joke or something more sinister?

It is difficult sometimes to distinguish the fake stories from the real, so the answer is to fact check, and there are plenty of sites that will soon tell you if it's real news or a hoax. Here are a few we think are worth a look:

  • Hoax Slayer - Particularly useful for email and social media articles, Hoax Slayer is a really up to date source of information for those dodgy emails you sometimes get asking you to do something or the viral hoaxes you see again and again on social media.
  • Snopes - Great for checking on a news stories to see if they are real, Snopes sorts the truth from the urban legend.
  • Full Fact - An independent, UK based fact checking organisation, Full Fact are less about hoaxes and more about checking the facts behind serious news stories, legal issues, the claims of political parties and the like.
  • BBC Reality Check - Offers a similar service to Full Fact but just focused on news stories. They also have a Twitter account you can follow for regular updates.
So if you receive an email or see a Tweet you can't quite believe, it may be because you can't actually believe it. One of these sites might just clarify which it is...

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