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News Savvy: Spotting Misinformation

While preparing for News Savvy: Analyzing the Fake News Phenomenon (a presentation created by Brevard College J.A. Jones Library and Transylvania County Library), we assembled useful information-literacy resources.

Testing the Story: Where Savvy Begins

How can you tell if a source merits trust?

There are a handful of tricks that help expose the manipulation of information. (Click to expand image.)

IFLA infographic based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article "How to Spot Fake News"

International Federation of Library Associations. "How To Spot Fake News." IFLA, 20 June 2017, https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174/.

 

That's the tl;dr. Continue on for more detailed evaluation techniques. 

Note: this guide's presentation of the CARS Framework of information evaluation is adapted from 
Harris, Robert. "Evaluating Internet Research Sources." VirtualSalt. 21 January                                                      2015. http://www.virtualsalt.com/evalu8it.htm​.

Fact-Checking and Triangulation

Is the story reported anywhere else?

Sources may differ concerning the interpretation of facts, but if the facts of a story are not being reported elsewhere, you may be looking at a spurious source. Information professionals call verifying information through other sources "triangulation."

Many fact-checking sites exist that may be useful to you, including those below.

  • FactCheck, from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, is dedicated to verifying claims made by U.S. political figures.
  • Hoax-Slayer focuses its efforts on internet-security issues, such as email scams, and is owned by Brett Christensen of Bundaburg, Queensland, Australia.
  • Politifact, produced by the Tampa Bay Times (itself owned by The Poynter Institute) researches and rates the veracity of politicians' claims.