submitted 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago) by CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world to c/world@lemmy.world

How to Spot Misinformation and propaganda


In today's world, it can be hard to know what's true and what's not. With so much information available online, it's easy to get lost in a sea of facts, opinions, and outright lies.

That's where misinformation comes in. Misinformation is false or misleading information that is spread intentionally or unintentionally. It can be spread through social media, email, or even word-of-mouth.

How to Spot Misinformation

There are a few things you can do to spot misinformation:

  • Be critical of the information you see and hear. Don't just accept everything that you read or hear as fact.
  • Check the sources of information. Where did the information come from? Is it a reliable source?
  • Look for evidence to support the claims that are being made. Can you find other sources that corroborate the information?
  • Be aware of your own biases. Everyone has biases, but it's important to be aware of them so that they don't influence your judgment.

Here are some additional tips for spotting misinformation:

  • Look for clickbait headlines. Clickbait headlines are designed to grab your attention, but they're often misleading.
  • Beware of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are often based on misinformation, and they can be very harmful.
  • Don't share memes or videos that you're not sure about. Memes and videos can be a great way to share information, but they can also be used to spread misinformation.
  • Use fact-checking websites to verify information. There are a number of fact-checking websites that can help you to verify information.


Spotting misinformation can be tricky, but it's important to be able to do it. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that you're getting accurate information.

Here are some funny things to keep in mind when spotting misinformation:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If it makes you angry, it's probably trying to manipulate you.
  • If it's on the internet, it must be true. (Just kidding!)

So, there you have it. A few tips on how to spot misinformation. Be aware, be critical, and be skeptical. And most importantly, share your methods of identifying bad actors, misinformation, and propaganda. We can all do our part to fight the spread of misinformation.

Here are some resources that can help you learn more about misinformation:


Is a media bias chart that rates news sources on a scale of 0 to 64, with 0 being the least biased and 64 being the most biased. The chart also takes into account the reliability of each source, with 0 being the least reliable and 64 being the most reliable.

I believe that this website is a powerful tool that we can use to fight disinformation and ensure that our community is getting accurate information. It is also complementary to the Bias Compass, which is a tool that helps people to identify their own biases.

Here are some of the ways that we can use the website:

Evaluate the credibility of news sources before we share them with our community. This will help us to avoid sharing misinformation.

Understand the different types of bias that exist in the media. This will help us to be more critical of the information that we share.

Find more reliable and unbiased sources of information to share with our community. This will help us to make sure that our community is getting accurate information.

Use the Bias Compass to identify our own biases and be more aware of how they might be influencing our interpretation of information.

Thank you for reading!

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[-] cleric_splash@lemmy.world 24 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

According to the site linked here, Fox News is one of the most reliable sources.

Migrated from /r/WorldNews today, this place ain't look promising.

[-] luthis@lemmy.nz 8 points 9 months ago

It's actually pronounced 'faux news'

To be fair though, not everything on fox news is bad info.

[-] janWilejan@kbin.social 1 points 9 months ago

@FoxNews is indeed one of the most reliable sources on the fediverse 🦊

[-] purahna@lemmygrad.ml 8 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

These are the people who say that the closer to the center you are, the more right you are, and then base "the center" on the discourse taking place between the left wing and the right wing of the most right-wing nation in the world, right?

positively goofy. Imagine the idea that no media source that splits the difference between fascist and liberal is worse than "pretty good". This fails the smell test from a mile away.

Don Lemon Tonight is "hyper-partisan left"? OAN "skews right"? Nothing left of Rachel Maddow is factual information? Ironic that a site that writes about how to call out bullshit news is bullshit.

[-] cleric_splash@lemmy.world 6 points 9 months ago

The Guardian is leftist according this mod.

And Fox News is a trustworthy source...

Can anyone recommend me a better news community? I fear this one will end up like /r/WorldNews soon, absolutely dominated by liberals.

[-] HowRu68@lemmy.world 5 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

I have scrolled through the Post and some remarks.

Firstly, I wish to address that the political idiom between countries and the meaning of a word can vary alot Ergo, in Europe the word " Liberal" can mean anything, so without context, it becomes meaningles. And the same goes for many USA wordings like " socialist and " left and right winged".

As this is a worldwide community, let's start to respect that words and meanings vary. The USA has some specific issues that other counties simply do not on the same scale. The same goes the other way around, ofcourse.

Many counties have different experiences, history and so, you most definitely can not project your political ideologicall meaning to other countries, and think you're going to be understood or have a good conversation.

Secondly, about misinformation. Not all media bias websites that are suggested are helpful to identify misinformation, but they can be of help. So, I suggest that, while the poster of any content should do his own research first, before blindly posting something , that person is mainly responsible for this info. And the whole community should share the responsibility for checking it out, before parroting a remark. Finally, the mods have the end repsoniblilty for this community, hence they could do a final check if needed.

Thirdly, the main source of misinformation are proganandists. Having a rational or factual conversation is impossible, simply because their goals are different. They want discord, arguments, emotional responses, so the only solution is to ban them. The bigger problem with propagandist ( bots/ botfarms/ dolls etc is to recognise them. That's sometimes hard to do. But they all have one similarity, and that is their INTENT.

" Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to influence or persuade an audience to further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is being presented. Propaganda can be found in a wide variety of different contexts.

Here some extra websites for additional factchecking:




Yes, I do get that my contribution could have been better, more inclusive, less biased, better nuanced etc. On the other hand this is a public forum, if you can't find an ounce of patience to try to understand others, you might not belong here. Also if you are a nihilist, your remarks carry no weight without context. And if you feel happy about being a destructionalist, good for you, just don't harass others to agree and keep it to yourself.

[-] Imhotep@lemmy.world 3 points 9 months ago

What's up with the giant banner with your username? And will you do an AMA again?

I think it's the first time I know a mod name.

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world -1 points 9 months ago

"I was trying to put a target on my back so that if anyone needed help or had an issue, they knew who to come to. But I didn't plan on being top mod for long. I found an amoozing replacement for myself, and now I'm here in a supportive role, like Yoda and Luke. I don't know if I'll do another AMA, but I only did it because the community was thrown into disarray when our top mod quietly stepped down. I ended up being top mod for 3 days or so until things were resolved, but I also felt an obligation to leave something behind. So here I am, still trying to help people, even though I'm not the top mod anymore. Just call me 'The Supreme Overlord of the multiverse! Just kidding just don't call me names I'm sensitive :)

[-] HandsHurtLoL@kbin.social 2 points 9 months ago

Possibly dumb question, but are you u/PoppinKream???

[-] FartsWithAnAccent@lemmy.world 2 points 9 months ago

I don't think this is PoppinKream

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world -1 points 9 months ago

Go fish! I'm CantStopPoppin here there and everywhere!

[-] jpreston2005@lemmy.world 1 points 9 months ago

PoppinKream? that you, my dude?

[-] uglytruck@kbin.social 1 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

If they are selling ad time, they are selling influence.

Citing rule #1, rule #2, and lack of rule #3 for your source.

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world -2 points 9 months ago

That is good and I would like to add if it is free then chances are you are the product or will become the product!

[-] Aceticon@lemmy.world 1 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

Using a source one deems "reliable" is just adding one level of level of indirection to end in the same place as you can hardly expect that those who can't judge the reliability of information are any better at juging the reliability of sources of information. Further if you use a source to determine what is "reliable", how can you judge the reliability of that source at passing such judgements?!

(Unsurprisingly the whole "seek a reliable source" advice is frequently pushed by newsmedia in countries with the least trusted news sources, the very same newspapers and TV channels fillied with articles from self-proclaimed "opinion makers" who are clearly pushing politially biased messaging)

In fact I suspect that the veritable explosion of fake news was triggered and is fueled by the enshittification of the traditional mass "reliable sources" that predates the growth of social media - over the course of a few decades since about the 90s, previously trustworthy news media became more and more propagandistic and political, even self-proclaiming as "opinion makers", so those who kept believing ended up getting fed more and more manipulative, selective and slanted takes on situations and events whilst, those who stopped believing often ended up with other sources they deemed "reliable" which fed them "manipulative, selective and slanted takes on situations and events".

Yeah, there are genuinelly and pretty much guaranteed reliable sources of information on a number of subjects, the problem is they usually require specialist knowledge to understand (for example, scientific publications).

I really think this is not something that can be solved by "delegation of trust" and has to be solved by people learning genuine skepticism (not the "negate what you dislike" of useful idiots but the one that asks question like "why?", "what for?" and "who stands to gain?") and by regular comparisson of sources to catch the inconsistencies and even then, it's not easy as the media universe in some countries is dominated by a handful of owners and heavilly politicized (for example, the one and only trustworthy news source in the UK, IMHO, is The Private Eye, a satirical magazine, something you can easilly check by reading the same news in supposedly "reliable" news sources thera and also in the mainstream media of other european countries, which makes the "use of an angle" and the slanting quite glaring).

[-] wurzelgummidge@lemmy.world 1 points 9 months ago

Always ask, Why am I hearing this information now?

What sources are given in the article? Are they all vague such as "persons familiar with the matter", "name with held because not authorized to speak to the press", "a spokes person said" etc. If no sources are named or are not independently verifiable it is suspect.

Some of your favourite news agencies are fond of this technique.

The Propaganda Multiplier is a very helpful article

[-] Aceticon@lemmy.world 2 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

"Who gains from people believing this?" is often quite the eye openner.

All the way back in the beginning of the talk about Global Warming if you did that analysis on information on the subject you would get the answer "a handful of scientists who actually risk being unpopular so not really gaining" for the "there is global warming" messages versus "companies worth trillions of dollars who want to protect hundreds of billions of dollars a year in profits" for the "there is no global warming" ones.

Nowadays we all know how that went.

Such answers to quo vadis are not a hard rule for a real/fake decision, rather they're a signal for "needs more validation" since if there is one side which clearly stands to gain much with a certain message being widelly believed (or loose much if the opposite message is believed) and has the means to significantly influence the information landscape (normally that's lots of money), the probability that the message is manipulated in a direction that favours them increases a lot.

(Here's another example: if people who own lots of a specific financial asset - say Bitcoin or Realestate - tell you great things about it or want you to behave in ways that will push up the value of that asset, you should probably be suspicious of that message).

Note that this alone doesn't address the "somebody whose honesty is entirelly beyond reproach is a gullible fool and believes and repeats as if absolutelly true complete total bollocks" problem (which is how the worst misinformation spreads in places like Facebook - via genuinelly well-intentioned gullible friends and family). Ultimatelly the stuff that comes in via others needs to be traced back to the source "i.e. were have you heard this from?" or be treated as not trustworthy until proven otherwise even though it came via an honest person.

[-] Xylinna@lemmy.world 1 points 9 months ago

That is a lot of info! Thanks for sharing!

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world 0 points 9 months ago

You are most welcome!

[-] KoofNoof@lemmy.ml -1 points 9 months ago

There are a few problems with this. One, is choosing a reliable source. How do you genuinely know what is reliable or not? Most people will assume “I agree with this” = reliable source. Finding multiple news agencies saying the same thing also does not necessarily equal being reliable, as there can be multiple biased sources that are all misinformation.

Also, fact checkers, all heavily lean towards liberal views. Something to avoid if you’re looking for a true unbiased opinion. They typically dig harder into republicans and are much softer on democrats. Especially the sites you linked, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were all owned or funded by the DNC.

There’s a major issue with people hanging out in echo chambers and not challenging their beliefs. Your best bet is to find biased info on one side of the spectrum, and the other, and compare the two.

[-] Mookulator@wirebase.org 6 points 9 months ago

Reality has a known liberal bias

[-] KoofNoof@lemmy.ml -3 points 9 months ago

This just sounds like you refuse to question your own beliefs and it’s a really embarrassing statement

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world 2 points 9 months ago

Even if a source does have a bias one way or the other, that doesn't mean it's always wrong. It's important to be aware of the bias, but you can still get accurate information from biased sources.

I agree that it's important to challenge your beliefs. One way to do this is to digest opposing viewpoints even if you don't agree with them and some sugar to them unless you are a diabetic an down the hatch they go! You can do this by reading news sources that you disagree with, or by talking to people who have different beliefs than you in a productive non name calling way, be human, be kind don't be a poptart.

Now here is some fat to chew on, it's important to be aware of the dangers of echo chambers. Echo chambers create conformation bias. This can lead to people becoming more and more extreme in their views, and it can make it harder for them to see the other side of the issue.

So, how do you find a balance between being open to different viewpoints and avoiding echo chambers? I think the best way is to be critical of everything you see and hear, and to be aware ofyour own biases. If you do that, you'll be better equipped to make up your own mind about the issues, even if you don't agree with everyone else.

I won't pretend to know everything, to be honest I really don't know much so if you have ideas that could contribute to this guide on misinformation, I'm all ears!

[-] KoofNoof@lemmy.ml -3 points 9 months ago

This is very logical OP, idk what’s wrong with those people who downvoted you.

They must not have liked being told to try to question their bias

[-] Ds4zkMjT@lemmy.world 0 points 9 months ago

Ironic for you to be posting obvious misinformation in this thread.

[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world -1 points 9 months ago

Please use the guide to point out the misinformation that has been provided.

[-] automodbeta@lemmy.world -2 points 9 months ago
[-] CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world -1 points 9 months ago

Thanks for the bode of confidence. I had no clue I was going to be top mod and I just came here to post stuff but when I saw how big the community in I figured I would stick around till things got sorted out!

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this post was submitted on 20 Jul 2023
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