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Scientific News Literacy: Fake news

Scientific News Literacy


Fact-checking web sites can help you identify 'well-known' fake news stories, like a Facebook post that seems 'too good to be true', or a twitter post that is 'so outrageous.'  Our Statistics sources can also help you verify whether some quoted number is based in reality or not.  The video describes how fake news can propagate...why do you think 'fake news travels so fast, while the truth is still putting on its shoes?'  Do you agree or disagree with that statement? And, the About Fake News box provides some further reading, including current commentary on fake news.  

Fact-checking sites
Fact-checking site for "urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation."

Hoaxy visualizes the spread of claims and related fact checking online
According to the AllSides website, it "exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant" on the news.

From the Annenberg Center; check the accuracy of statements, including advertisements, from politicians, pundits and special interest groups.

Fact Checker (Washington Post)
From columnist Glenn Kessler, focusing on accuracy of statements of political figures "regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local."

How fake news can spread

Fake news and types

Fake news is not new. It has been going on for centuries. What’s new is the scale and how fast it can spread.

There is no standard definition of fake news. It’s become increasingly important in recent years and can also be known as:

  • Hoaxes
  • Click-bait to get clicks/ad revenue
  • Propaganda/ disruption
  • Satire
  • News sources bias and your own bias
  • Urban legends
  • Incomplete/Misused data

About fake news

From Harvard's Nieman Lab, a weekly roundup of the "growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy."

Articles related to fake news production and dissemination, news consumption (including news/media/information literacy), and the politicization of the news media.

Podcast on fake news

  • Fake News, Journalists, & Librarians: The Know News Symposium, Circulating Ideas episode 141,
  • Fake News, Higher Education, and Librarianship, Circulating Ideas episode 139, Nicole Cook,
  • Fake News and Social Media Analytics, Circulating Ideas episode 123: Nathan Carpenter:
  • Fake News and the Psychology of the Brain, Circulating Ideas episode 116: Laura Lauzen-Collins:
  • Fake News, Information Literacy and Teaching College Students, Circulating Ideas episode 113: William Badke:
  • Fake News, Journalism and Libraries, Circulating Ideas episode 108 Interview with Jeremy Shermak:
  • Fake News, Information Literacy and Epistemology, Circulating Ideas episode 104 Interview with Lane Wilkinson: