Thursday, June 15, 2017

Believe This, Not That: Some Real Help for Fake News

Engaged citizens like to keep up with the news of the day, and many of us do that on Facebook and other social media. This is convenient, but is it a reliable way to stay informed? As with most things, it depends on the quality of the information we're taking in.

In the spring, Librarian Abby Morris conducted workshops on identifying fake news. Missed them? Read on for some real help for fake news.

What Fake News Is (And Is Not)
Fake news is not information that you disagree with, but news/websites/images that are designed to mislead and misinform (unsurprisingly, this usually has to do with money; sensational headlines and images draw attention and invite clicks--increasing site visits, shares, and ad revenues).

Believe This, Not That

How can you know fake news when you see it? Three approaches can help. 

  • Check a specific story or fact by consulting a reputable fact-checking site. Examples include SnopesPolitifact, and FactCheck.OrgDon't see what you're looking for? Most invite you to submit your questions.
  • Fact check like a pro with the advice featured on the tip- and link-packed guides from Indiana University East and the Tri-College Libraries. For some good advice on staying informed watch the five-minute How To Choose Your News (below) by Damon Brown.
  • The TWU Libraries staff includes librarians who specialize in doing subject-specific research (and verifying the reliability of what they find). They are available to teach you to do the same. Consult Abby Morris or another TWU Libraries Subject Librarian listed here.

~Sandy Cochran with Abby Morris

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