Take care with what you share using the SHARE checklist.

Things aren’t always what they seem online.

The internet and social media are full of facts and opinions. Most are balanced and informative but others can be misleading or even harmful to share with our friends and families. Worse still, false information can often be about important things that impact whole communities, like health or the environment.

The checklist

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to check if a story can be trusted.

Before you like, comment or share content online, ask yourself… Does it look right? Does it sound right? Use the SHARE checklist below to help you spot false information.


Make sure information comes from a trusted source. Have you heard of the source before? Do you recognise the url, or website name? Is the source verified? Checking these things can help you determine if a source is reliable.


Always read beyond the headline. Headlines don’t always tell the full story. Always check the date and read to the end before you share articles with family and friends.


Check the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. You can use fact-checking services which are correcting false information about important issues every day. Or check the fact with an official source such as GOV.UK or Full Fact.


Does the image or video look as though it has been doctored? It might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see if the photo matches what an article says. You can also reverse image search to determine the source of the image.


Look out for bad grammar and spelling. Typos and other errors are clues that the information could be false. Official guidance will always have been carefully checked.

Download the checklist. Portable document format, file size 132 kilobytes


False information online is often called misinformation or disinformation, but what do these terms actually mean?

Misinformation refers to false information that is shared without an intent to mislead.

Disinformation refers to false information that is shared with an intent to deceive and mislead. It’s not always easy to spot, but the checklist can help you decide if information can be trusted.

So, whenever you read a story online, remember to take a moment.

Take care with what you SHARE

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