“sexy ads or links” – Facebook can’t catch a break

The Fact Checker’s guide for detecting fake news by Glenn Kessler.

Glenn’s post isn’t an outright attack on Facebook, the standard fare at the New York Times since Donald Trump’s election. How long the Times is going to sulk over its rejection by most Americans isn’t clear.

Glenn descends into the sulking with the Times when he writes:


Look at the ads

A profusion of pop-up ads or other advertising indicates you should handle the story with care. Another sign is a bunch of sexy ads or links, designed to be clicked — “Celebs who did Porn Movies” or “Naughty Walmart Shoppers Who have no Shame at All” — which you generally do not find on legitimate news sites.

The examples are nearly Facebook ad headlines and Glenn knows that.

Rather than saying “Facebook,” Glenn wants you to conclude that “on your own.” (An old manipulation/propaganda technique.)

Glenn’s “read the article closely” was #4, coming in after #1, “determine whether the article is from a legitimate website,” #2, “Check the ‘contact us’ page,” or #3, “examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense.”

How To Recognize A Fake News Story has “read past the headline” first.

Even “legitimate websites” make mistakes, omit facts, and sometimes are mis-led by governments and others.

Read content critically, even content about spotting “fake news.”

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