Fake News Test: Donald Trump Thinks He Can Spot Fact from Fiction. Can You?

There is a thin line between real fake news and fake fake news in Donald Trump’s America. Even the most vociferous newshound is prone to falling for a deceptive article posted by a friend of a friend that lurks on our Facebook feed.

But now you can sharpen your ability to spot fake news and hopefully avoid being duped by stories of fictitious massacres and health conspiracies about Hillary Clinton.

Introducing Factitious, the web game that tests your knowledge of real and fake news. It’s pretty easy to play for anyone that’s ever used Tinder: You swipe left if you think a story is fake, and right if you think it’s real. (All those hours on dating apps finally come in handy.)

Factitious derives its news stories from various sources around the web, some reputable, like CNBC, and some not so. The headlines all sound pretty preposterous—”Hash browns recalled over golf ball bits,” reads one—but some are, in fact, true, the hash brown story included.

Another story that pops up is headlined, “Trump to Limit All Intelligence Briefings to 140-Characters.” That one’s an obvious swipe left—for now, anyway.

Factitious - the fake news game Factitious - the fake news game JoLT/American University

The online game was created by JoLT, a collaborative at the American University in Washington, D.C., that inspires the education of journalism through gaming.

The concept for Factitious comes from Maggie Farley, a JoLT fellow, who worked for 14 years as a journalist at the Los Angeles Times .

In an interview with NPR, Farley said she originally devised the game to help middle and high school students discern fake news stories from real news. But she recalls a colleague saying, "Hey, my crazy uncle needs to play this, too.” Now, the game is for all audiences.

Farley and the game’s designer, Bob Hone, hope to rollout the software as a free, open source learning tool for students and newsrooms. Educators will be able to input their own stories and test their students, which, given the age we’re living in, is probably a pretty valuable life skill.

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