If a source is determined to pass itself off as real and unbiased, it's not going to declare itself fake on its About page. It might even believe that it is unbiased, which can be more difficult to detect. To discover the truth for yourself, you will need to research laterally - this means searching for information about the source outside of the source itself. Try one of the fact-checking resources listed on the Websites tab of this Guide, or use Google to find out what others are saying about the source. To do this, use Google's Boolean NOT function, which is a minus sign (-). You can use this to eliminate the resource's own website from the list of search results: [“American College of Pediatricians” -site:acpeds.org]
Note how the results change. This is why only looking at the first Google result or two can be dangerous:
We often find ourselves in a political or ideological echo chamber - in other words, we filter out information that we don't agree with and focus on the things we do. Social media allows us to narrow this echo chamber even further. We can follow people, pages, or groups that only provide a certain type of information, and therefore miss out on the bigger picture or alternative perspectives. By only visiting certain types of links, computer algorithms help us filter out the things we don't want to see (other perspectives) and we end up creating a filter bubble. This is particularly common with political news. To see this in action, view some of the links below.
For more information on identifying legitimate resources, check out our Evaluating Resources Guide.
Looking for legitimate news sources? Check out our library databases!
While these databases do filter out most questionable websites, they do include popular news sources and opinion pieces. Always think critically and filter by date to get current information.