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On this page you will be able to learn all about information literacy: disinformation, misinformation, fake news, how and why to check your sources. Take a look around!
Important Terms and Definitions
incorrect or misleading information-Merriam-Webster Dictionary
false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
"Fake news" is "fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. [David M. J. Lazer, et al., "The Science of Fake News," Science 09 Mar 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1094-1096.]. - Cornell University
a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly.-Merriam Webster Dictionary
the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs. This biased approach to decision making is largely unintentional and often results in ignoring inconsistent information.-Britannica.com
Be like a professional fact checker and employ lateral reading!
Lateral reading helps you verify what you're reading as you read it.
Lateral reading helps you determine an author’s credibility, intent and biases by searching for articles on the same topic by other writers (to see how they are covering it)and for other articles by the author you’re checking on.
Here's an infographic to help you vet a news source.
Checkology, a free e-learning platform, will help you become more news-literate.
Learn how to effectively search, evaluate, and verify social and political information online with lessons from the Stanford History Education Group.
Guide to learning how to critically evaluate media sources and understanding fake news, propaganda, and disinformation.
Is that a fact?, News Literacy Project's new podcast, informs listeners about news literacy issues that affect their lives through informative conversations with experts working to combat misinformation.
FactCheck.org monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.
All Sides displays the day’s top news stories from the Left, Center and Right of the political spectrum — side-by-side so you can see the full picture.
Fact checking methods
Evaluate Information in a digital world:
Do you know the website or source of information? Start with a plan. Check your bearings and consider what you want to know and your purpose. Usually, a quick check is enough. Sometimes you'll want a deep investigation, to verify all claims made and check your sources.
INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE:
Know the expertise and agenda of your source so you can interpret it. Consider what other sites say about your source. A fact checking site may help. Read carefully while you click.
FIND TRUSTED COVERAGE:
Find trusted reporting or analysis, look for the best information on a topic, or scan multiple sources to see what the consensus is. Find something more in depth and read about more viewpoints.
TRACE THE ORIGINAL:
Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the source. What was clipped out of a story/photo/video and what happened before or after? When you read the research paper mentioned in a news story, was it accurately reported? Find the original source to see the context, so you can see if the version you have is accurately presented.
A-Author: Who wrote the resource? Who are they? Background information matters. Google them and see if they are qualified to write about the topic. Has the website or any of its authors been reported as a source of fake news.
C-Currency: When was this resource written? When was it published? Does this resource fit into the currency of your topic?
T-Truth: How accurate is this information? Can you verify any of the claims in other sources? Are there typos and spelling mistakes? Follow the rule of three-you should be able to look up claims in at least three other sources.
U-Unbiased: There is no such thing as unbiased. We all have biases. Find out who funded the research. Follow the money. Often times founders have a vested interest in the research outcomes.
P: Privilege: Check the privilege of the author(s). Are they the only folks who might write or publish on this topic? Who is missing in this conversation? Critically evaluate the subject terms associated with each resource you found. How are they described? What are the inherent biases?
The Census Bureau's mission is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. The Census Bureau operates under Title 13 and Title 26 of the U.S. Code. Our goal is to provide the best mix of timeliness, relevancy, quality and cost for the data we collect and services we provide.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics and serves as a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.
Brookings brings together more than 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of public policy issues.
The research agenda and recommendations of Brookings’s experts are rooted in open-minded inquiry and our 300+ scholars represent diverse points of view. Research topics cover foreign policy, economics, development, governance and metropolitan policy.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.
We generate a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making. We are nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonadvocacy. We value independence, objectivity, accuracy, rigor, humility, transparency and innovation
Statista operates one of the leading statistics portals worldwide. Via the website, Statista provides access to statistics on more than 80,000 topics from 170 different industries. The statistics portfolio for all industries and topics is updated and extended on a daily basis.