© Polityka Insight
Read closely and all the way to the end of each article: a lot of news is nowhere near as sensational as the headlines suggest. Fake news is often given lurid headlines that serve as clickbait to lure more readers and spread faster.
Fake news, especially AI-generated material, often contains grammatical errors and/or unusual formatting. Stylistic errors may also suggest that the writing has not been professionally edited, in which case you ought to be sceptical about the information.
Does the information come from a source you’re familiar with? Is the URL (web address) really correct? Many sites that post bogus reports imitate well-known news sources. If you’re not familiar with a particular source, check the legal notice to find out who’s responsible for the content and who finances the website. Do the website operators provide their address and contact information? Fake news sites often have no physical address. Satirical sites, on the other hand, explicitly state that their "news" is not true.
Make sure the authors actually know their stuff. Many commentators claim expertise in areas they know little or nothing about.
Check whether a news item is really up to date and reflects the current situation. Some hoaxes still get passed on long after having been debunked. Furthermore, many bogus reports contain incorrect dates and place names.
Do the institutions and documents to which the article refers really exist? Are the quoted statements fully accurate? Many bogus items cite respected institutions or public figures but distort or make up facts. Referring to unnamed experts or failing to cite any sources may also be a tell-tale sign of fake news.
Is the item in question sponsored by a company? Ads don’t always take the form of glossy pictures: sometimes they’re disguised as journalistic articles.
Make sure to distinguish whether the author is reporting objective information or expressing a subjective opinion. Articles containing subjective assessments or emotional language primarily reflect the author's opinion, which does not necessarily correspond to reality.
Our own memory and judgment are not fail-proof. Certain ways of wording and presenting information and certain kinds of content make articles appear more credible to us than others. And fabricators of fake news take advantage of this phenomenon. So don’t necessarily trust your first impression. Instead, thoroughly check any content that strikes you as particularly sensationalistic.
Whenever possible, try to consult various sources with different points of view. This is also a good way of checking the veracity of seemingly sensational reports: if a news item only appears in a single, obscure source, it may well be bogus.