I'm sure you're savvy enough to spot a fake when you see one. Knockoff brands of Rolex or Coach, a re-creation versus a real antique, special effects, the list goes on.
But what I bet you don't know is that some "satire" websites are pushing out fake news stories, and fooling the general online community into spreading false rumors.
Remember Crabzilla? That was a silly hoax that spiraled way out of control. It was a goofy story, but many of these satirical news stories can cause serious problems.
For example, it was recently reported that a small town called Purdon, Texas, has been placed under quarantine because a family of five was diagnosed with Ebola. The problem is that this never happened.
There have also been people spreading false news, like this weatherman, causing mass panic and economic backlash when people unnecessarily hoard supplies.
But for a lot of Web surfers, it doesn't matter if the problem is true or not. These "news" stories get shared online and gain huge amounts of traction on Facebook and other social media sites because only the headline and the first line of the story is skimmed.
What can you do about this viral epidemic?
The best thing that you can do about these fake news stories is to read them completely. And only share them if the research checks out.
I certainly wouldn't want to be responsible for spreading rumors and causing mass panic online. Remember, keeping yourself informed is the best way to stay safe. You can check out my Happening Now news page by clicking here to get the latest in tech news.