Fake News

Nowadays, every online user can easily write their own posts and share their opinion via their own blogs, comments or in social media. At the same time, the newly gained diversity poses a greater challenge than before to online users having to decide for themselves which published information is right or wrong.

 

From chain letters via messenger or e-mail to social media posts with linked incorrect content: many online users are confronted with dubious content on the Internet every day.

Which sites help to educate about fake news and false reports?

Dealing with fake news / inhuman content

If you discover a page that contains false reports or content that is inhumane, you can …

  • Report the page to the relevant operator (e.g. see facebook)

  • or (e.g. if a crime is suspected) also send your concerns about the page to external complaints offices (with a corresponding screenshot).

Complaining offices

Complaining offices are e.g.:

Evaluating online sources

How do you determine if a source is credible? You can evaluate the reliability and scholarship of information you find both online and in print by using these guidelines:

  • Authorship

If the author is not identified be wary. When an article or website is authored anonymously it has little credibility. It should be evident who created the content. What are the author's credentials? Does he/she have expertise in this field? Is biographical information provided?

  • Publisher

This can help you determine the origin of the document, for example whether it is produced by an established publisher, a government agency, a nonprofit organization, or a commercial website. Consider the publisher's reputation and trustworthiness.

  • Accuracy and objectivity

Can the facts presented on a website be substantiated elsewhere? Beware of information that can't be confirmed or that presents a biased view. Always check multiple sources to determine credibility.

  • Timeliness

Be aware of when the web page was created and how recently it's been updated. Is the information current? Outdated information and broken links indicate the page is not being maintained.

  • Footnotes and bibliographies

Legitimate references and links to other sources can add to a document's credibility and depth of scholarship.

  • Sponsorship

Some sites are officially approved by the parent organization to which they're linked. Others can be on a parent site but not officially sponsored by the organization. A personal homepage on a university's server does not automatically confer credibility.