Skip to Main Content

Fake News: Tricks to Watch Out For

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News

Common Tricks

A Patina of Credibility

This graphic has an air of authority. It looks professional and it even suggests that it comes from a doctor. However, most of the information on this graphic is either misleading and/or outright false. You can read more about this here. 

Manipulated to Alter Meaning

Everything from quotes to photos can be manipulated to alter their meaning. New technology can even manipulate audio and video to sound real. An image or video can be replaced with someone else's likeness.This new technology can superimpose any image onto something else. This can make it seem like former President Obama is saying something radical, when it really is someone else saying it. The video below does this very thing. Watch below:  

(please note that this video contains strong language)

Incorrect Context or Correlation

The image below provides two maps, one with a map of 5G towers and the other a map confirmed Covid cases. The image suggests a false correlation between the two. It ignores the context of population. The areas in the map match because they depend on how dense the population is. You can read more about this here. 

Simplifying Information & Ideas

The meme below questions the effectiveness of face masks by suggesting that if they worked, there wouldn't be Covid cases in Muslim countries because of the use of burkas (face veils). It simplifies the context of burkas by ignoring that there are different types of face coverings and countries differ greatly. For example, some women in India wear Hijabs, which do not cover the face. Not to mention, it leaves out the fact that a large part of the population is men who don't wear them. 


Activating Strong Emotions

This is a standard propaganda technique that is used often in fake news. The image below offers a powerful statement on how wearing masks is a sign of being controlled by the government.