Opinionomics | 5 April 2012

Must read comment and analysis

1. The cost of cancer care (Washington Post | Wonkblog)

A new study throws light on the cost variation within the American health system.

2. Cameron’s economically irrational Right to Buy relaunch won’t solve housing crisis (Left Foot Forward)

Kevin Gulliver lambasts the Right to Buy program.

3. German Ideology, EMU, and the Wolfson break-up Prize (Telegraph)

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard runs through the entries to the Wolfson Prize. We prefer the Euro Pizza Plan.

4. U.S. Economy Needs Stimulus, Not Soothsayers (Bloomberg View)

Via Freakanomics, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers say the unsayable – economists aren't very good at guessing where the economy is going.

5. “The FSA is not about justice, it’s about justifying their existence.” Discuss (Financial Times | Alphaville)

Paul Murphy defends Ian Hannam against the FSA.

Pizzas are sold for a Euro in Madrid. Credit: Getty

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.