Clickbait: a story, often sensational or featuring a sensational headline, aimed toward getting "clicks" (to generate ad revenue).
Sponsored content: A story that is made to appear as independent journalism when in fact it is advertising.
Fabricated journalism: news stories that are completely made up (including fabricated quotes and sources).
Read beyond the headline - What's the whole story? Be wary of outrageous headlines, called "clickbait", are designed to grab your attention, such as ads may disguised as news.
Consider the source - What's the purpose of the website? Is it objective, impartial, unbiased? Read the "About Us" section to learn about its mission. Look for contact information. Pay attention to the URL; be wary of websites with unusual domains such as .com or .co.
Check the author(s) - Are they real? What are their credentials? What qualifies them as experts on the subject they are writing about?
Check the date - When was the information published? Has it been revised or updated? Some websites repost old news stories .
Check the links - Are they working? Do they take you to other credible websites? Don't trust an article or website with a lot of broken links.
Check the comments - Clickbait stories generate a lot of comment, especially on social media, and many call out the article for being fake or misleading.
Evaluate supporting quotes - Who or what being quoted? Is the source real? Is it credible? Does the information given reinforce the story's claims?
Ask:"Is this a joke?" - Writers often use satire to expose and criticise foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society. Satirical articles are reliable sources for research.
Ask:"Are my own beliefs affecting my judgment?" - Confirmation bias lead people to accept information that confirms their beliefs and ignore information that doesn't. Seek contrasting view points to develop a more well-rounded understanding of the issue.
EBSCO Connect. (2019). Lesson plan: Spotting fake news and images on the web.