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Fake News vs. Real News: How to Spot Fake News

How to determine actual and reliable information on the internet and in social media feeds

Identifying Misinformation

This free, one-hour course by First Draft teaches you how to verify online media, so that you don't fall for hoaxes, rumors and misinformation.

verification training text with computing symbols and devices surrounding it

This one-hour course is free to use and requires just a one-step registration. The quick-start program includes four modules that teach what we mean by verification; the tools involved; how to independently verify the authenticity, time and location of photographs; and how to investigate digital footprints.

The course was developed by Claire Wardle, the executive director of First Draft and a co-founder of one of First Draft’s founding partners, Eyewitness Media Hub. She holds a PhD in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught verification in universities and newsrooms all around the world. In this video, Claire explains how her interest in verification began.

And if you’re curious if the course is right for you, test your skills with this verification challenge. If you get some questions wrong, take our course and see if your score improves. If you get them right, check out whether the course can help take you to the next level.

Access the course by going to and clicking the ‘Get Free Access’ button. First Draft has published this Information Disorder Essentials Guide which explains the 7 types of misinformation.

Watch for Red Flags!

Scan your online resources for easy-to-spot red flags. These can help you determine whether a website is credible enough to use in a research paper.

  • Website does not look professionally designed
  • Lack of citations or links to verifiable information
  • No author/sponsoring organization is listed, either on the main page or in an 'About Us' section
  • The page's purpose is to sell something (almost all .com)
  • There is a lot of advertising on the page
  • The publisher is promoting a specific point of view
  • Content seems written to provoke an emotional response


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