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Evaluating Information in the Era of "Fake News"

This research guide is meant to help users navigate the evaluation of information and "fake news".

Fact-Checking Strategies

Student Fact-checking Book-- Open Source Creative Commons

Fake News: The Basics

Fake News: Technology, Algorithms, and Influence

Fake News: Become a Student Fact-Checker

Fake News:Become a Student Fact-Checker Strategy Practice


Strategy: Read Laterally

Fact-checkers don’t spend a lot of time on a page until they have done a little research about it.

Open new windows and check to see what other pages say about:

  • The reliability of the site;
  • The accuracy of the story;
  • The background/expertise of the author;
  • The purpose of the organization who created the site. "About us” ??

Strategy: Previous Work

Search to see if existing fact-checking sites have covered the topic.

  1. Open the article
  2. Open a new window in Google
  3. Enter search terms from the article title or content
  4. Hint: put “fact-check” in your keyword search.



The Headline reads: Hoaxed: The ‘Illegal Alien Mom with Barefoot Kids’ Photo was a Setup – Another Staged #FakeNews Production


Google search: immigrant mom and kids fake fact check


The first result is Snopes.


Strategy: Swim Upstream

Find the original source of the information reported.

Hint: Be a detective!  Use Google to search keywords to try to  find the original source.

The Media Bias Chart

It is difficult to calculate one's personal bias.  That said, it is often a worthwhile activity to attempt it if only to see where your own personal biases may lie.  Useful to these efforts is the following Media Bias chart, which tries to outline both the quality of different news sources along with where the bias of each sources lies along the spectrum of liberal to conservative.  As much as possible, the author of the media bias chart tried to be scientific with their calculations as possible and their methodology is outlined along with the chart.

Please take a look...

Fake News: Your Information Diet

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All guides are available under the CC-BY-NC-SA license.