*CORRECTIONS* The “golden showers” document came from a retired British Intelligence source, not a US one. The correct website is abcnews.go.com, not abc.com, see how confusing that is??

This morning President Elect Donald Trump held a press conference for the first time since he was elected, presumably to address the report (released by a man who is retired from a British intelligence agency and still being investigated by the FBI) that Russia has dirt on Trump, specifically about his participation in “golden showers.”

If you don’t know what a “golden shower” is, bless your heart. (It involves Russian prostitutes and urine…this time.)

During the press conference Trump also took the time to attack CNN for their reporting of the newly released Russian “intelligence,” calling CNN “fake news,” and refusing to let the attending reporter get in any questions. Trump had a mini-meltdown.

Fake news has been YUGE this election, so let’s talk about how to guard yourself from reading (and spreading) fake news.

Here’s why you should trust me: I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism from The Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication AND I’m just a huge cynic.No really, I ask my mom for her sources when she tells me…basically anything.

So here we go…

Step 1: Check your source. Ask yourself “Is this a source I trust,” and “Do I trust stupid sources?”

If it has a name like “Liberal Inquirer” or “Conservative Report,” chances are IT’S FAKE NEWS. At very least it’s biased. Find and know what your reputable sources are; The Washington Post, The New York Times, even local news stations do a really good job at being honest and straightforward. That’s how they make money, by being a trusted source. Why would they risk their reputation? The answer is: they wouldn’t! The problem is, the 24-hour news cycle, which is relatively new in the world of news, means that news stations have to push out information as soon as it gets it to beat other news sources who could just publish the story on Twitter, sometimes without fully verifying it if it’s from a trustworthy source. A reputable news source will always correct themselves but sometimes those stories take flight and news can no longer pull that information out of the public sphere and correct themselves. So blame it on the 24-hour news cycle and Twitter.

Step 2: Check your bias. Ask yourself “Do I believe this information automatically because it confirms a belief that you already have?”

Step 3: GOOGLE IT. Google is your best friend, the mother you never had, chicken soup on a rainy day…GOOGLE IS THE SHIT.

Literally plug in the main idea on Google and see if another reputable source has reported on it. If they have, chances are you’re good. If they haven’t, either whatever source you have is the first to report it (not likely) or it’s a fake news story.

What makes this difficult is that fake news sources can be tricky. There’s one out there with the url abcnews.com.co (<– fake) instead of abcnews.go.com (<– real). How confusing is THAT?!

After you’ve done your Googling (google-ing?) and you’ve found more than one reliable source (and hopefully some science to back it up)…

Step 4: Check the author’s bias. No matter how much someone says they don’t have a bias and don’t care about politics, everyone cares about something. Check the “About” section of the page. If you’re trying to validate a scientific study on abortion and the “About” section literally says “We’re a pro-life organization,” chances are they’re not going to be a good source of ALL the facts.

Hope that helps! If you have any questions leave them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to be a reputable source for you guys.

– Chella

Advertisements