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Fake News

How to identify and avoid fake news

How news-literate are you?

How to Choose your News

Why news literacy?

In recent years fake and misleading news has become prevalent. It is perhaps unsurprising that Oxford Dictionaries named "post-truth" as its 2016 "Word of the Year." This guide can help readers evaluate news sources for accuracy and harmful bias.

Reasons that fake news has become a growing problem include:

  • The growing use of social media as the primary source for news consumption
    According the a Pew Research Center report over 40% of adults in the US go to Facebook for their news.
  • The appeal of sensational and often false "clickbait" information:  
    News that goes "viral" and is widely share is far more likely to be false or misleading.
  • "Filter bubbles" that result from the personalized web:
    Search engines and social media usually present a us with information intended to fit with own own individual interests and perspective. We then miss information that others with different perspectives are more likely to see.
  • Confirmation bias
    People are predisposed to believe information that fits their worldview and to discount information that does not.

These factors reflect a need to carefully evaluate news sources and where and how we get our news.

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