Fake News – How to Tell When Stories Are Legit or Bunk

With so many news articles and outlets floating around your social media feeds, it is close to impossible figuring out what is real and what is fake news. The Doctors break it down!

Due to the amount of false medical news that tends to circulate online, we brought in the help of Dr. Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, to share tips on how to decipher when the story you are reading is real or not.

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She explains that if you visit a website that does not have contact information or an “About us” section, it a pretty good indication that the story is from a fake news site. She also recommends crosschecking the story. For instance, if you see a story claiming human DNA was found in hot dogs, check if other reputable news sources have reported the same information.

When it comes to clickbait ads, she tells The Doctors this is a tossup and says that even reputable news sites have clickbait ads on their website due to financial reasons.

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Her best advice is to have a “healthy media diet” and read as many different sources as possible and never limit your news intake to just one website. She adds, “Read widely and often.” Dr. Zimdars has also compiled a list of sites that push fake news to readers in order to help people stay informed, check out her findings here!

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