How to Fact Check 13: Watch out for Sponsored Content!

So, you’re looking at a news story, and you see a juicy, clickbait-y title popping out at you from the sidebar. Should you click it?

Probably not!

Often, websites will import advertisements from other websites and promote them near news stories. They’ll look a lot like the regular articles from the website in question, but they won’t necessarily conform to the same editorial standards and journalistic processes which articles published by reputable news organizations do.

So how can you tell if the article you’re looking at is sponsored? Make sure you look for the word “sponsored” either above or below the article, and be wary of headlines you find under sections like “Around the Web.” It doesn’t mean that the article is bad, per se, but you should make sure to exercise caution if you plan to click.

For more information, be sure to check out The free Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers, as well as our numerous other posts on the topic.