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IFS 2081: Busting Common Biology Myths

This guide is designed to assist students taking Dr. Dennis's IFS 2081: Busting Common Biology Myths class.

What is fake news?

Fake news is content generated by non-news organizations in order to drive eyeballs to ads or to spread information that is neither sourced or supported by facts. Fake news is not news that does not align with your political views.

Examples of fake news sources aggregated by CBS (link) (link)


This page of the research guide was created using Cornell University Library's "Evaluating News Sources" guide.

How to Spot Fake News

"How to Spot Fake News" infographic

What to watch out for

1.  Websites created to look like familiar mainstream news sites, e.g. "Boston Tribune."

  • Look for contact information with a verifiable address.
  • Look for an About page, often in the header or footer of the home page. Read the About page closely for evidence of partisanship or bias.  If there's no About page and no Contact page, be very skeptical.
  • In staff listings (or on the About page), look critically at the list of executives. Are they real people or stock photos? Open a new tab and look for another profile of the individual (e.g. LinkedIn).
  • Perform an independent search for the news source. Compare urls.


2.  Advertisements designed to look like news stories: "native advertising".

3. Satirical news (e.g. The Onion) .

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