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  • Evaluating Online Sources: Start Here

    Steer clear of bad information with CRAAP and FABLE

    Evaluating online sources

    There is lots of information out there nowadays, but how do we know what is good information versus bad? Let's make sure that those sources you either use for your assignments or share with others online are reliable and credible.

    There are many sources out there claiming to the real information when, really, they aren't. What we try to teach you here is how to be media literate, how to evaluate things you see and find online and through other media sources. In today's society, it is very easy to create and share information, and it is also very easy to share potentially misleading information likes fake news. The point of this page is to make you aware of this topic and help spread accurate information rather than inaccurate information.

    Fake News and Bias

    Fake news is not a new topic, but it was brought back into the lime light during the 2016 presidential election. Fake news is spreading information that is not entirely true but seems like it is in order to influence public opinion.

    Fake news has these characteristics...

    • Easy to make
    • Easy to share
    • Spreads like wildfire
    • Factually inaccurate
    • Preys on biases

    ... and can be classified in one of two categories:

    • Misinformation - unintentional distribution (accidental spread) of inaccurate information
    • Disinformation - intentional distribution (deliberate spread) of inaccurate information

    BUT just because something is not fake does not mean it is rude or inconvenient.

    What isn't fake news?

    • Something that challenges your personal beliefs and biases
    • Something rejected by someone or people in power
    • Something you simply do not like
    • Honest reporting mistakes
    • Satirical news (e.g. The Onion, even Saturday Night Live) - News that pokes fun at current issues or events

    Keep your biases in check!

    Whether or not you realize it, you may be judging a book by its cover before understanding the fine details. These are two types of biases you may experience:

    1. Implicit - predetermined attitudes and stereotypes
    2. Confirmation - stuff that validates what you already believe