How to Spot and Stop Fake News

Found all over the internet, especially in Facebook posts shared by your aunt, fake news has recently dominated the regular news cycle.

But fake news isn't brand new.

Remember headlines like "ALIEN BACKS CLINTON!" or "BAT CHILD FOUND IN CAVE!" or "DICK CHENEY IS A ROBOT!" 

Those are all from the Weekly World News, a magazine published since 1979 featuring outlandish headlines that are generally understood as baseless conspiracies.

But now, stories like the PizzaGate conspiracy theory – which alleges Hillary Clinton is one of many people involved in an occult-based child sex trafficking ring run out of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor – have garnered far too much attention as being real.

So, how can we figure out if a story is real or fake? 

First, if the story comes from a website that gives only one ideological perspective, has no direct quotes or sources, contains the words "Truth," "Liberty," "Breit" or "Bart" in the title, has a ".com.co" URL, or isn't from a recognized, established news source, then it's probably fake.

What do you do when you run into fake news? Try doing an internet search to see if you can verify the story elsewhere.

Check Snopes or PolitiFact to see if the story has already been debunked.

And finally, if you haveany doubts about it, don't post it. Just don't.