Speed Reads

TOO good to check

Fake news sites and their 'B.S. stories' are making you look like chumps, says CNN's Brian Stelter

You've probably seen the stories on Facebook or other social media, and maybe you've even shared them: articles that look legit but are maybe too good to check, or stories you think are true — or maybe want to be true. On Sunday, CNN's Brian Stelter asked you — and Donald Trump's family— to "triple check before you share," and stop spreading misinformation around like an actual virus.

"Fake news has become a plague on the web," Stelter said. These stories enrich the hucksters who write them, with the hope that you make them go viral, "but the B.S. stories hurt the people who read and share them over and over again. Many of these fakes reinforce the views of conservative or liberal voters and insulate them from the truth. The stories prey on people who want to believe the worst about the opposition." Stelter identifies three types of such articles: totally fake "hoax sites," sites that are so partisan they they bend real news to the point of breaking, and most damaging, "hybrid" sites that mix in a little truth with their fiction.

If you have any questions about a story's accuracy, you can always check Snopes or a fact-checking site. Credulously sharing fake news isn't only bad for the body politic, it makes you look like a chump. And if you want to read or share fake news, The Onion is usually good for a laugh — and usually only China thinks it's real news.