Choosing trusted sources of information
Always ensure information is from a reputable company or website such as well-known news, organisations, official government sites, or the police. Trusted sources of information can also sit outside these organisations. The following are fact-checking sites that you can use to check the reliability of information online:
For Health Information: gov.uk/Coronavirus and Public Health England.
Ofcom has also put together a list.
Types of fake news
- Fake Papers (imposter news sites): They look like traditional newspapers online, but are not – they often showcase images and videos that have been manipulated
- Click-baiters: These are posts, articles and videos that you may see in social feeds or websites that use dramatic headlines or claims for free items or results to get as many people to click on the article, i.e. ‘you won’t believe what…’.They may have eye catching images, an emotive or humorous tone
to get people’s attention.
- Bad Ads: Ads that contain scams or false claims
- Hackers: This refers to a person who uses their skills to gain unauthorised access to systems and networks in order to commit crimes such as identity theft or often holding systems hostage to collect ransom
- Headliners: Sensationalist headlines designed to get you to spread the story without reading it
- Populists: People, often politicians, willing to use fake news stories to gain popular support
- Satire/comedy sites: They have no intention to cause harm but have the potential to fool people into thinking content is real (examples: Onion or Daily Mash site)
- Misleading content: Articles or news stories that use fake facts to distort a particular issue or an individual
- Bot: Although not an example of fake news, these are fake profiles, mainly on social media, that are created to spread fake news using automated technology
- Deepfakes: This is when technology is used to replicate live facial movements of a person in a video and audio to make it seem real. Some of these videos have gone viral where high-profile people like President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have been impersonated in fake clips
- Phishing: These typically are imposter emails, text, or websites that pretend to come from a reputable organisation in order to gain someone’s personal information
- Sock puppets accounts: These are accounts that use fake online identities to mislead or manipulate
Play our 'Find The Fake' quiz