Lately there has been a rash of fake…er…I mean false news being disseminated lately. There have been recent reports of Amazon blocking the sale of Castalia House’s latest novel, of Trumps impending impeachment, and of Congress critters knowing geek references. …oh…that last one is true…okay…that’s just odd.
So how do you spot false news? It’s fairly simple.
- If it by the Onion, Duffleblog, Eye of the Tiber, or other satire aka fake news site. If it is, great. This is definitely fake news. Laugh and have fun with it while it’s still fake news. You’ll be crying later when it makes an appearance later in reality.
- If it about the Pope. It doesn’t matter whether it is a secular media source or a Catholic media source, unless it is the actual or linked to the actual full and unedited transcript or video of the Pope and/or directly from Vatican.va’s website, it is most likely fake news. Even many Catholic news sites have biases.
- If the news is from within 24-48 hours of a terrorist attack, school shooting, or other violent crime, the details will be false news. Accurate information will be available a day or two after the event, once investigators have a chance to handle the situation.
- If the terms Nazi, snowflake, SJW, Hitler, misogyny, patriarchy or any other number of code words appear, then it’s opinion. While opinion is technically not false news, it can be disregarded as such if presented as a real news story.
- Anything about Jon Del Arroz is completely and utterly true regardless of how absurd it may sound. He is literally Steampunk Hitler.
- You will run across articles that are questionable. They may be real, they may be false or they could be a mix. Verify, verify, verify. If you see something on MSNBC, immediately look for a different source. That one is terrible. Look for coverage from various sources, especially ones with competing viewpoints. Watch for multiple sites using the same or very similar information. Also, look for unedited video, complete transcripts and original documents. Still can’t tell? Assume it’s False News until you have enough evidence to change your position.
It is better to be skeptical and change your mind than look like an idiot when you fall for the false information disseminated by today’s media. Now go forth and shred false news.