Campaign will help Canadians to ‘SPOT’ fake news online by asking four critical questions

News Media Canada today announced the launch of a new media literacy tool, SPOT Fake News Online, to help Canadians of all ages critically assess online news and information.

“We know that so-called fake news, and the spread of disinformation online are very real concerns for Canadians,” said John Hinds, President and CEO of News Media Canada. “According to an Ipsos-Reid study, 63 per cent of Canadians have trouble distinguishing between legitimate news websites and fake news stories. We developed ‘SPOT’ to provide Canadians with a simple, easy-to-remember tool they can use anytime they’re consuming news online.”

SPOT Fake News Online prompts Canadians to ask themselves four simple questions when consuming online news and information:

  1. S: Is this a credible Source? Check the source of the article – and be skeptical.
  2. P: Is the Perspective biased? Think critically and look for varying viewpoints on an issue.
  3. O: Are Other sources reporting the same story? Be your own fact-checker and verify the validity of the story.
  4. T: Is the story Timely? Check the date the story was published – sometimes, stories use old information to take advantage of a timely occurrence.

“Fake news is often used as an umbrella term for misleading, false or fabricated information. It can surface in different shapes, sizes and formats: from false stories, to manipulated photos or altered videos,” says Hinds. “The term fake news is often used incorrectly, to discredit or dismiss information that people don’t like or agree with. SPOT Fake News Online is intended to help build citizens’ critical thinking and preparedness and increase their resiliency to disinformation,” concludes Hinds.

SPOT Fake News Online is a multi-faced and bilingual campaign that will be communicated to Canadians through an educational video, a new program microsite, and via a comprehensive national advertising campaign in News Media Canada members’ print newspapers and news sites.

To watch the video and learn more about how to SPOT Fake News Online, visit:

The SPOT Fake News Online program is funded by the Government of Canada as part Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Initiative. According to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez, having access to accurate, diverse and relevant news is crucial to our democracy. In response to the increase in disinformation published online and through social media, our government has made it a priority to help equip citizens with the tools and skills needed to critically assess online information.

About News Media Canada

News Media Canada is the voice of the print and digital news media industry in Canada and represents hundreds of trusted titles in every province and territory. News Media Canada is an advocate in public policy for daily and community media outlets and contributes to the ongoing evolution of the news media industry by raising awareness and promoting the benefits of news media across all platforms. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

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