What's your rating of faking news

Unmask fake news
Keeping the perspective

Reports, pictures, videos - fake news can appear in different formats and are difficult to refute at the same time. Some Internet offers have therefore dedicated themselves to checking dubious information and media.

Verifying the truth is often difficult. Journalists have to react quickly, have answers, check what is true or made up - especially in the local area, where the spread of many false reports has its origin.

Websites and online tools that are dedicated to fact checking do a good job. Selected tools in the search for fake news are presented below.

Personal checklist

View the imprint
  • In Germany there is an obligation to publish an imprint. You should therefore not trust a page without an imprint.
  • The imprint provides information about the originator of a message. The address of the publisher of fake news sites is often not in Germany.
  • Is an author of the article named? If so, research what else has been published.
Double-check the content
  • Basically you should look at the date of a report and enter the heading into a search engine.
  • Has the same issue already been reported from other sites and media? Are there multiple sources? No? Then you should be critical of the news.
  • Check sources and quotations: In what context can they still be found on the Internet?
  • How serious do other articles appear on the supposed fake news site? What else will be published?
Check the URL
  • There are instances when hoax reports appear in the design of well-known media brands.
  • So take a look at the web address in the browser line. Often the URL only differs from the original by an addition such as a hyphen or an ending such as .net.
In social networks: check the sender
  • You should take a close look at the sender's profile before sharing a post.
  • How long has the Twitter / Facebook account been around?
  • How many friends or followers does he have? Who are the followers / friends? Few followers and very new profiles give cause for skepticism.
  • The articles published so far should be checked. Are the tweets and postings consistent in terms of time and content?
  • Does the account have a blue verification check mark?
Review photos and videos
  • Was the photo actually taken at the specified location? Billboards, traffic signs, and license plates may give clues about the location.
  • Fake news creators like to show only certain image sections, which means that the original context of the recording is not reproduced truthfully. Remember that this manipulates the message of the picture.

Websites that are fully committed to fact or fake checking:


background: This page shows rumors that were circulating in Germany and that have been exposed as fake news. Usually it is about refugees or immigrants.

Utility: False reports can be searched for on a digital map of Germany by state, location or keywords such as “theft” or “bodily harm”. The user immediately sees which year the rumor originates from. There is also a link to an article that refuted the rumor.


fact finder

background: The ARD editorial team has set itself the task of investigating alleged fakes as part of the “faktenfinder”. The journalists present their findings on the actual facts - but still maintain multiple perspectives. This is intended to offer people a platform for reading verified facts.

User value: On tagesschau.de you can find the latest news from home and abroad, as well as background information on the broad and in-depth presentation of the respective controversial topic under faktenfinder. In addition, tutorials are available to users, for example on how to deal critically with statistics.

http:// Faktenfinder.tagesschau.de

SWR fake finder

background: The “SWR Fakefinder” - not to be confused with the ARD faktenfinder - is an exciting browser game. In this game, news feeds are scrutinized. With every question answered, your own repertoire of judging grows: What is truth, how can you recognize fraud?

User value: This tool is a playful way of keeping an overview in times of fake news and hoaxes. The game ends get a total of ten messages posted in a news feed. What they all have in common is that they sound incredible. Part of it is serious news, part is satire, but part is boldly fake content. The task is to accurately differentiate. The highlight: For every task there is a research or link tip to expose fakes.


First Draft News

background: Since 2015, the non-profit association First Draft has been compiling guidelines for dealing with rumors, images and videos that spread on social networks. She now draws on an international partner network of editorial offices and human rights organizations. In Germany, for example, dpa, Zeit, ARD and ZDF work together with the initiators of the website.

Utility: Among other things, the site explains step by step how to verify videos or images, which tools are suitable for this, or how journalists can deal with traumatizing images.


First Draft News |


background: Messages that spread via Twitter, Facebook or Whatsapp are often questionable. Users can send these messages to the Mimikama editorial team for review. Since 2011, the Austrian association has made it its mission to uncover internet fraud, abuse and false reports.

Utility: The makers of Mimikama put the results of their research and articles on the subject of Internet security online and also give tips on how to identify fake news. Particularly practical: With the associated search engine Hoaxsearch, fakes can be found specifically for certain keywords.


In addition to websites that are entirely dedicated to fact or fake checking, there are also a number of paid and free online tools that are useful for checking photos and videos. Particularly user-friendly programs that are available free of charge are listed below.

Google image search

background: The classic: Google offers the possibility to search specifically for the origin of a photo. This searches the database for websites that contain the image and for similar or identical photos.

Utility: Clicking on the camera symbol starts the search process as soon as the URL or the photo has been entered.


background: Editors can also use the free English-language program Tineye to check whether it is an original photo. According to the manufacturer, the reverse image search currently checks over 17 billion photos for a match.

Utility: The user-friendly program gets to work with little effort. Here, too, a photo URL or upload is sufficient.


Youtube data viewer

background: The aid organization Amnesty International has developed the free online tool Youtube Dataviewer to counter the spread of fake news and videos on the YouTube platform.

Utility: After entering a YouTube URL, the program determines the location and time of the recording within seconds. At the same time, thumbnails, individual images of the video, are created, which can be subjected to an image search with one click.