Kaspersky’s Crash Course in Fact Checking

Kaspersky_Lab_logoKaspersky Lab, makers of free Security Tools, offers A Crash Course in Fact Checking. Tips and advice on how to spot fake articles, images, and sites.


Facebook Wants Your News Feeds to Show Fewer Hoaxes


Facebook wants to improve the user experience by reducing the amount of news containing hoaxes or misinformation. They do not remove or review the content – instead an annotation is added that users have reported on its accuracy.


In August 2014 Facebook tested “Satire” tags added to posts like ones originating from The Onion, which users would spread, thinking it was actual news. Washington Post ran a little test of their own to see which satire site’s Facebook news feeds showed “Satire” tags.

AP Twitter Hacked


April 23, 2013. 1:07 PM. The Associated Press tweeted: Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured. Wall Street stocks fall. Immediately AP’s Sam Hananel tweets:


Other news outlets report on the attack. That evening, AP posts a story on what went down. Hackers compromised the AP twitter accounts, preceded by phishing attempts on AP’s corporate networks.

6-Year-Old Boy Trapped in a Balloon Floating Over Colorado

Hot-air-balloon-boy-inside-right-size-21307900_66802_ver1.0_320_240Fort Collins, CO, USA. News outlets began reporting that a 6-year-old boy was trapped in a UFO-like balloon that floated away. Fire and police were called and a search began to help get the boy – identified as Falcon Heene – down safely. When the balloon landed, no boy was in the balloon. A search and rescue began. Later found hiding in the attic of their home, suspicions began that this was not all as it seemed.

The parents were charged for falsely claiming their son was trapped in the balloon and exploiting him for attention and a supposed reality show deal.

The War of the Worlds


Halloween Eve, 1938. Orson Welles broadcasted Howard E. Koch’s version of H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds novel for CBS Radio. People went crazy thinking Martians were invading Earth.

But according to a Slate article, panic from Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast might not have been panic after all. The amount of people listening – and then even lower on the amount of believers – were too low to have caused the mass hysteria we all heard about. Headlines of Welles’ broadcast causing “terror through U.S.” were opportunistic journalists wanting to sensationalize the event for readership.

So did it cause terror or not? Even if it did, someone was fooled. We still believe that Orson Welles caused terror.