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How to Spot Fake News

How to Spot Fake News
Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past. Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation. Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. Snopes.com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. A lot of these viral claims aren’t “news” at all, but fiction, satire and efforts to fool readers into thinking they’re for real. In 2008, we tried to get readers to rid their inboxes of this kind of garbage. Here’s our advice on how to spot a fake:

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/11/how-to-spot-fake-news/

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Fake News Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts : All Tech Considered Guido Rosa/Getty Images/Ikon Images Fake news stories can have real-life consequences. On Sunday, police said a man with a rifle who claimed to be "self-investigating" a baseless online conspiracy theory entered a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and fired the weapon inside the restaurant. Special Report: The Changing Face of Literacy There has never been a generation of young people more immersed in digital media than this one, many of whom learned to use a mobile device before they even started school. This special report examines how literacy instruction is changing in the digital age, from learning to sound out words in elementary school to grappling with “Macbeth” in high school. It finds that, while experts quibble over what it means to be digitally literate, they agree on one thing: even the youngest children should be learning literacy with a mix of print and digital texts. Is the digital revolution transforming literacy instruction in the nation’s schools? Should it?

Good Tools for Teaching Students How to Evaluate Web Content Credibility Source: Butler University Library, adapted from Meriam Library at CSU, Chico One of my favorite lessons to teach is about evaluating the credibility of web sites and other digital content. I often start by showing the classic “Can't Lie On The Internet” video from AllState, which gets a laugh and helps to get students in the right mind set. Next, we check out the classic “DHMO” site and talk about what we see there.

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News - The New York Times Back in 2015, when we published our lesson plan Fake News vs. Real News: Determining the Reliability of Sources, we had no way of knowing that, a year later, the Oxford Dictionaries would declare “post-truth” the 2016 word of the year; that fake news would play a role in the 2016 presidential election; that it would cause real violence; and that the president-elect of the United States would use the term to condemn mainstream media outlets he opposes. Back then, to convince teachers that the skill was important, we quoted Peter Adams of the News Literacy Project on the “digital naïveté” of the “digital natives” we teach. Now, however, we doubt that we need to convince anyone. These days, invented stories created in a “fake news factory”— or by a 23-year-old in need of cash — go viral, while articles from traditional sources like The Times are called “fake news” by those who see them as hostile to their agenda. As always, we welcome your ideas; please post them in the comments.

Search, fake news and politics - an international study How are people using search, social media and other forms of media to get information about politics, politicians and political issues? Are we right to be worried about the impact search algorithms have on shaping political opinions or about inaccurate, false and politically biased information that distorts public opinion? A study, conducted jointly by researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute (University of Oxford) and the Quello Center (Michigan State University) questioned 14,000 internet users from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the UK and the USA about how they used traditional and online media. Search performance has the potential to support or undermine democratic processes. Does search enable citizens to obtain better information about candidates and political issues or does search bias distort search results?

After Comet Ping Pong and Pizzagate, teachers tackle fake news History teacher Chris Dier was in the middle of a lesson last week at Chalmette High School in Chalmette, La., when a student made a befuddling inquiry: “He raised his hand and asked if I knew about Hillary Clinton using pizza places to traffic people.” About a thousand miles away at Wilson High School in Northwest Washington, distressed students in teacher Eden McCauslin’s history and government classes asked why a North Carolina man armed with an assault rifle had appeared at their local pizza shop, Comet Ping Pong, telling police that he wanted to free child sex slaves he believed to be harbored there, a false narrative conspiracy theorists have pushed on the Internet. [Pizzagate: From rumor, to hashtag, to gunfire in D.C.] Hoaxes, fake news and conspiracy theories have abounded on the Web, spreading with increasing speed and intensity during the recent presidential election cycle. As the Comet Ping Pong incident displayed, such false accounts can inspire very real consequences.

Bias already exists in search engine results, and it’s only going to get worse The internet might seem like a level playing field, but it isn’t. Safiya Umoja Noble came face to face with that fact one day when she used Google’s search engine to look for subjects her nieces might find interesting. She entered the term “black girls” and came back with pages dominated by pornography. Noble, a USC Annenberg communications professor, was horrified but not surprised. For years she has been arguing that the values of the web reflect its builders—mostly white, Western men—and do not represent minorities and women. Critical thinking is a key skill in media and information literacy, and the mission of libraries is to educate and advocate its importance. Discussions about fake news has led to a new focus on media literacy more broadly, and the role of libraries and other education institutions in providing this. When Oxford Dictionaries announced post-truth was Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realise action is needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking – a crucial skill when navigating the information society. IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News) to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you.

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