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Learn How to Spot Fake News Targeting Our Churches

Churches across the country are being targeted with disinformation in order to sow division. But we can stop the fake news from spreading and negatively affecting our communities. 

 

After You Spot It.  Stop It. 

Six Steps:

Develop Critical Mindset. Why was this story written? Is it trying to give me information, or is it trying get me to do or feel something?

 

Check The Source.  Only share from trusted locations. Watch for spelling errors, lack of citations, strange website extensions.

 

Who Else Is Reporting the Story?  Has anyone else picked up the story?  Are other sites with the story legit (fake news often get "laundered" from less good sites, so if you find it on click-bait or foreign-focused sites, watch out)? Is it on Snopes.com?

 

Think About The Evidence.  Credible news stories will try to include facts, quotes, and specific citations, especially on anything controversial.  Does the evidence stack up?

 

Don't Accept Images at Face Value.  Fake news often uses real images out of context.  Use Google Reserve Image Search to learn where images came from and if they have been altered.  Look for strange shadows, odd color blocks, and jagged edges for warning signs of doctored photos.

 

Listen to Your Gut.  Research shows that most Americans can spot fake news if they pause to think about it.  Fake news is designed to play on your hopes and fears. It's creators want you to be angry or worried.  They want you to stop trusting American institutions and your neighbors.

 

When in doubt, don't share.  Find something better.