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Facebook has a serious fake news problem! 

Creators of fake news are screwing with your head and making thousands of dollars a minute doing so. Our predispositions to particular ideologies fuel the fake news furor.

Learn to recognize the signs. Fake news sites share several characteristics:

1. Clickbait headlines warn you of something scary. See photo example.

2. It usually involves food, medicine or an elected official.

3. Warns you not trust authorities. These nefarious authorities figures are hiding things they don’t want you to see.

4. Ironically the website often name drops scientific studies, or may say “research says” to add credibility.

5. Often their claim cherry picks portions of a real event or study in order to appear credible.

6. Opening the article reveals advertisement overload, typically with scary clickbait warnings. *THIS IS A BIG TIP OFF TO BEWARE!

7. Masquerades as a health advocate by touting only natural, organic or holistic remedies. Anything else is evil. This is not a legitimate organic vs traditional discussion, which is fine to have. Their “all natural” claims are distinguished by their lack of peer-reviewed research to back up their the claims.

8. Resides on the Internet with a url or website name you never heard of before. Usually a jumble of letters, or something that sounds official.

9. Anything coming from another country is suspect. This appeals to Xenophobics.

10. Often imitates a local network news source.

11. The warning claims to be Snopes verified. It is not.

While legitimate reasons may exist to be skeptical of mainstream media, government, Big Pharma and medicine, understand these particular websites ARE NOT trying to help you nor provide you alternatives that have been tested, nor steer you toward health or toward any kind truth. They want your finger to click. They want to make money from advertising.

Fake new sample

A scare tactic that is completely false. It was posted on a legitimate garden group which quickly took this post down.

Putting a slice of a red Bermuda onion under your armpit will not cure Diabetes. Coconut Oil is not 60 times more effective than chemotherapy. Watermelons with cracks or fissures inside the fruit is a natural condition that is not a result of unscrupulous, chemical-loving farmers from China — but rather, larger fissures, known as “Hollow Heart” is a result of an incomplete pollination process. Maybe not pretty, but not at all dangerous to eat. Using Vinegar and Epsom salts as an alternative to Roundup may defoliate your weeds, but it will also contaminate your soil and harm other plants. If you want 100% organic weed control, pull them up by hand.

An anti-vaccine article is loaded with ads like this one taking the viewer to yet another advertisement

Classic clickbait. It is all about the ad. Look at the disclaimer! If you got this far, you’ve already helped this fake news site earn money!

Whatever your political affiliation is, Snopes does a overwhelmingly reliable job and can be trusted. If you don’t want to trust them why go ahead and charge your smart phone in the microwave! Good luck with that.

Due your due diligence. Google the keywords in the article. See what Snopes has to say, or, If you have your panties in a wad over Snopes, use Hoax-Slayer, or That’s Nonsense.
Don’t share these articles. You’re exposing your gullibility. You are helping these liars make money. Report them as fake news on Facebook.

This article is not meant to throw slight on those who believe in organic foods, or who are seeking different schools of thought. Schools of thought will have an academic component. The operative word here is “school.” Look for peer-reviewed articles and sources and evidence-based research, clinical trials, blind studies and links to published results that back up any claims.

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