Fake news is everywhere – you see it on your social media feeds, and even on forwarded messages on your phone’s group chat. There’s always one person in your group who likes to send unverified news on child kidnappings in your local mall, stories of political unrests and latest cancer scares from what can only be described as dubious sources.

It was even named 2017’s word of the year by dictionary publisher, Collins, which describes fake news as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”.

To thwart its spread, Malaysia recently enacted the Anti-Fake News Act, which carries severe punishments of jail time and a large fine.

Being able to spot fake news is a crucial part of digital literacy and is an important aspect of life in the digital age. Here’s a crash course:

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1. Check the website and quality of the articles
1. Check the website and quality of the articles

Look at where the story comes from and read other articles on the site – are they well written with proper citations or are they riddled with grammatical errors?

You should also make sure that you’re on a legitimate news site.

Some fake sites use addresses and even logos that are similar to those of real news organisations.

For example, is real, while is not.


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