Video: Talking about fake news

“Tom Cruise is a space alien!” “Nazi astronauts return to Earth!” “Dick Cheney is a robot!”

Not so long ago, you mostly found fake news at the grocery store checkout counter. But these days, fake news finds you – on your phone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

And it’s not always easy to recognize.

Phony news stories, often disguised to look like they came from legitimate sources, proliferated on the internet this year, especially leading up to the November election.

When people share them without verifying their authenticity, the consequences can be significant. That was clear earlier this month when a man opened fire at a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant falsely reported to be the hub of a child sex-trafficking ring connected to the Clinton campaign.

But fake news has an impact even if the reader isn’t motivated to do something violent. The Founding Fathers stressed that a healthy democracy depends on an informed citizenry. A misinformed citizenry cannot be good for democracy.

Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, discussed the fake news phenomenon this week with 9NEWS investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola. See the Facebook video below.

Meanwhile, here are some helpful links on how to spot fake news from Factcheck.org, The Washington Post and CNN.

Follow the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition on Twitter @CoFOIC. Like CFOIC’s Facebook page. Do you appreciate the information and resources provided by CFOIC? Please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

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