According to News Co/Lab research, more than one-third of people surveyed could not identify a fake headline. Unsure if a website you’ve navigated to is the real deal? Use these eight resources to check the validity of information and sources you find on the internet.
Indiana University created Botometer (formerly “BotOrNot”) as a response to the prevalence of fake bots on Twitter. The site rates accounts on a scale of one to five — one being real and five being fake — based on its history, tweets and mentions. Read more about it here.
Detecting Fake News
This code, available on GitHub, detects fake news by using machine learning and Bayesian models. It compares fake news classifiers to a fake news dataset to conclude if an article is real or fake.
Users can ask FactCheck.org questions about the validity of political claims and information, and the team behind the site will investigate and explain the truth fully. Its in-depth explanations include who made the claim, when it was made and how they fact-checked the claim. The website also has a special science fact-checking feature called SciCheck.
Developers at Swarthmore College created Fake Bananas, a machine learning model that can identify false claims with 82 percent accuracy using stance detection. Stance detection weighs the validity of the user’s claim by collecting reputable, related articles on the internet. If these reputable sources agree with the claim, the program rates it as true. Although the service is not hosted publicly, its code can be used on an integrated development environment.
False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources
Melissa Zimdars, associate professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, created this spreadsheet of 1,000 news websites. If you are unsure of the validity of a site, use “command + F” to search its name in the document and find out if it’s biased, fake, conspiracy, unreliable, satire, hate or one of many other classifiers.
Pulitzer Prize winner Politifact fact-checks the claims of politicians and bloggers. The site rates claims on a scale ranging from “true” to “pants on fire.” The Tampa Bay Times created Politifact in 2007, but is now run by The Poynter Institute. Politifact is recognized by the International Fact-Checking Network, one of our Best Practices.
Since 1994, Snopes has rated claims, articles, social media posts, images and video on their validity. Instead of blanket “true or false” ratings, Snopes uses more specific categories including true, false, mixture, mostly true, mostly false, outdated, misattributed, miscaptioned and more. The site also hosts a list of fake news sites. Snopes is recognized by the International Fact-Checking Network, one of News Co/Lab’s Best Practices.