trust graffitti
Credit: By purplejavatroll on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

There are certain elements that fake news stories and misinformation have in common, which can help both journalists and readers to separate problematic content from factual reporting.

Laura Hazard Owen, deputy editor at Nieman Lab, outlines four steps for debunking fake news, in this article republished on IJNet.

She cites the findings of Ben Nimmo, information defence fellow at Atlantic Council, who identified the common traits these stories share, such as emotional appeal and a "veneer of authority", meaning they are rooted in an event that apparently happened.

Nimmo also advised figuring out which of these four elements are "the weak link in the chain" and use it as a starting point to debunk the story.

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