Questioning a news website's legitimacy? Here's how to spot the fakes

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 21:54:41-05

It’s the content shared across the internet, from Facebook to Twitter and everything in between.

Unfortunately, not all of that content is accurate and some is intentionally misleading.

“Donald Trump Protester Speaks Out: “I Was Paid $3,500 To Protest Trump’s Rally,” a recent headline proclaimed.

The article appeared on a website with an ABC News logo, slightly altered, but the difference is easy to overlook, especially if you were reading the story on your phone.

The website address is also very similar to our network news partner’s legitimate website.

The Data Doctors’ Ken Colburn recommends doing two things to ensure you’re not being fooled by a sophisticated fake.

First, copy and paste the entire title of the article and do a Google search. If it’s real news, Colburn says it will likely show up on multiple legitimate news websites. Fakes commonly show up on only obscure-sounding sites.

Next, check the link at the top of the page. Copycat sites often incorporate the real organization’s name into the address but add a little extra to the end.

In our example, instead of, the address was Colburn says that last .co is the country code for Colombia.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently stated “of all the content on Facebook, more than 99%of what people see is authentic,” but pledged the social network is working to “flag hoaxes and fake news.”