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Fake News

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News


We're already seeing a lot of misinformation about Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. Social media is being exploited to ensure that misinformation is spread and it can be hard to recognize.

Remember as you're seeing posts across social media -  you need to vet every source. Especially if you discover or the algorithms show you posts by accounts that you're not familiar with.

There are a few common things to watch out for - we've pulled these from the excellent work of Abbie Richards @abbiesr on Instagram and @tofology on TikTok and we'll update with any new trends that we find.

  1. Posts that are simply inaccurate

    1. Many will include:

      1. "Breaking news.."
      2. "We're getting reports..."
      3. "No one is sharing this..."
    2. Remember - we're not only waiting on updates but many of us don't speak a Slavic language. So we're waiting on the translation of updates as well. That takes work and time.

  2. Posts that are using old footage

    1. These are HARD to spot and they're used for that exact reason.

      1. For photos:
        1. Look closely at the photo - and this is going to be a challenge if you don't know things like how to identify military uniforms, how Ukrainian civilians dress, what areas and streets in the Ukraine look like.
        2. Creation of these images is also often rushed so they'll be poorly edited. Look for oddities in the photograph.
        3. Reverse image search - Google Images or TinEye are two great resources to find if an image is reused.
      2. For videos: There's not a great way to confirm these and video is the hardest to fact check.
        1. For a complete list of options, take a look at Poynter's "10 tips for verifying viral social media videos"
        2. Amnesty International has a YouTube Data Viewer that will let you double check info about any video posted on YouTube
        3. Amnesty International also recommends a browser plug-in called InVID that helps verify images and videos.
        4. You can take a screenshot of the video and use the image searching above to see if that helps identify the source of the video. It's not a full proof method though.
        5. Look at the video information. Every video has embedded about when and where it was created. (This can be difficult because you often need specialty software or to download the video in order to view this information. We weren't joking when we said this was hard).
  3. Reusing old audio

    1. Again - This. Is. Hard.

    2. Both TikTok and Instagram note where audio comes from. Make sure that the audio you see matches the author of those videos.

(Updated: February 25th, 2022)

Disinformation Resources

Additional Disinformation Resources:

About Ukraine, Russia and Disinformation

General Information about Disinformation and Fake News

Examples of MisInformation

Librarian Vetted Sources

Look we know - traditional media isn't the first place that many of us go and they're often not a part of our social media feeds. But with any breaking news or crisis, they're the best sources for vetted information. And here are a few of our favorites to check.

Kyiv Independent

From their about page "The Kyiv Independent is Ukraine’s English-language media outlet, created by journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence."

Snopes - A Rundown of Popular Rumors about Russia's Attack on Ukraine

This will be updated as new rumors emerge so you can check back to stay updated and check anything that you see online.


The Daily - The New York Times

  • The Daily Podcast is just that - a daily podcast. And they've been focused on Ukraine since February 17th so there are a number of episodes with updates and explanations.






Abbie Richards - TikTok Disinformation Researcher

V Spehar - Reporter, #Underthedesknews offers 60 second daily wrap ups of current events, political analysis, and special interest stories “explained”.