What is fake news?
Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true. It seems so simple, but if everyone knew that, Facebook and Google wouldn't have to pull bogus news sites from their advertising algorithms and people wouldn't breathlessly share stories that claim Donald Trump is a secret lizard person or Hillary Clinton is an android in a pantsuit.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Fake news is actually really easy to spot, if you know how. First, know the different types of misleading and false news:
1. Fake news
These are the easiest to debunk and often come from known sham sites that are designed to look like real news outlets. They may include misleading photographs and headlines that, at first read, sound like they could be real.
2. Misleading news
These are the hardest to debunk, because they often contain a kernel of truth: A fact, event or quote that has been taken out of context. Look for sensational headlines that aren't supported by the information in the article.
3. Highly partisan news
A type of misleading news, this may be an interpretation of a real news event where the facts are manipulated to fit an agenda.
The shocking or teasing headlines of these stories trick you into clicking for more information -- which may or may not live up to what was promised.