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Evaluating Websites and Blogs (Law Library)

Indicators of Fake News

  • A lot of adds and pop ups and outrageous headlines may indicate a clickbaiting site that is not real news.
  • Headlines, facts and quotes do not pass a fact check.  Check facts using multiple sources.
  • Google Reverse Image Search - searching images on Google reverse image search reveals that the images are taken out of context, or are not what the news articles claims them to be.  Google reverse image search may help you locate the source of a meme. Also try Tin Eye reverse image search. Take a screenshot from a video and the image searches will locate the website where the video appears. Berify is another good one for reverse searches for images and videos.   FotoForensics can identify whether a photo is real or computer-generated. 
  • Deceptive urls or site names. eg. is not  The Denver Guardian is NOT an actual newspaper in Denver.  Look at the About Us section and check the facts in that section.  Use the Whois domain name checker to see who owns a site.
  • The site does not pass muster using the criteria set out in this guide to evaluate websites.  Also see CRAAP method, Framework for Information Literacy.

Fact Checking Sites

Internet Tools to Detect Fake News

News Article Rating Apps/Websites

Verification Handbook


Some "news" sites are created by individual who want to make money via add clicks.  They post "news articles" with sensational clickbait headlines.  If a site has tons of ads, it may be fake news.  See Abby Ohlheiser, This Is How Facebook’s Fake-News Writers Make Money, Washington Post, Nov. 18, 2016,, Scott Pelley, How Fake News becomes a Popular, Trending Topic, CBS News, Mar. 26, 2017. 

How to Spot Fake News Infographic

Ebook: Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

For more information

Reporting Misinformation on Social Media