At Psychology Today Blogs, Sander van der Linden offers five tips for spotting fake news (also known as “lies”). Here they are. Follow the link for a discussion of each one.:
2) Be aware of politically framed content.
3) Facts go viral less often than falsehoods.
4) Verify the source and context.
5) Don’t get most of your news from social media websites.
Frankly, I think the last is the most important. “Social” media has become the primary vector for facilitating fakery.*
Legitimate media sometime makes mistakes, but, regardless of its political leaning, does try to keep editorials on the editorial pages and out of the news stories. That’s something that the Boston Globe and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, just to pick two from opposite ends of the newspaper spectrum, have in common.
Those who post to “social” media make no such effort, and the “social” media platforms have no interest in and make no effort to ensure that their users are either accurate or truthful, while those users are often willfully and purposefully inaccurate and untruthful.
Oh, and by the way, that a factual news story may seem unfavorable to a cause or candidate you or I favor doesn’t mean its slanted. It means you or I just don’t like it.
This is not to imply that you should be uncritical. Critical is good. But base criticism on facts, not feelings.
*It has long puzzled me that persons will believe stuff they read on a computer screen when they wouldn’t believe the same stuff if they read it in the Encyclopedia Britannica.