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Fake News: Frauds and Fakes on the Internet

There are many hoaxes on the Internet Here are some web sites which appear to be real, but are not. There is also a page with information on checking out sites, and criteria for evaluating web sites.

Places to Check the Authenticity of Web Sites

The original Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a website covering urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin. It is a well-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture, receiving 300,000 visits a day. is a nonprofit website that describes itself as a non-partisan "'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics". It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.


Provides balanced news coverage as well as media bias ratings.

Real or Satire

Type in (or paste) a URL (web address), and this site will tell you if it is legitimate or not.


Evaluates the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, and others involved in U.S. politics.

Spotting Fake News - News Reports

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library has published a page on spotting fake news:

Here is a well-written, thoughtful article from Christianity Today about spotting fake news sites.


News stories about fakes and hoaxes

Rules for Being Web Savvy

Traditional Evaluation Criteria for print and electronic information

  • Accuracy: Can the source be verified?
  • Authorship: Who is the author?
  • Bias/Objectivity: Is the information biased?
  • Completeness: How much info. is presented?
  • Coverage: What time frame does the info cover?
  • Currency: Is the content up-to-date?
  • Purpose/Goal: Why does the info/site exist?

Another set of criteria is the CRAAP test

  • Currency
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Purposeful & well-presented

[See the LibGuide page on Fake News - Librarians at Work for more information.] 


Courtesy of

[Note clicking on the words in the left column will take you to the RADCAB page for that criterion.]

Relevancy Is the information relevant to the question at hand? Am I on the right track?
Appropriateness Is the information suitable to my age and core values?
Detail How much information do I need? Is the depth of coverage adequate?
Currency When was the information published or last updated?
Authority Who is the author of the information? What are his or her qualifications?
Bias Why was this information written? Was it written to inform me, persuade me, entertain me, or sell me something?

Museum of Hoaxes

Here is a collection of hoaxes:

Museum of Hoaxes

These are both on the internet, and prior to its existence.