A 2016 Stanford study showed that 80% of students could not tell the difference between an ad and a news story. According to BuzzFeed News, false stories outperformed real political news over the final months of the election. The Oxford Dictionaries even selected post-truth as the Word of the Year 2016.
False news ranges from stories invented merely to grab attention, to propaganda, to hoaxes. Images may be edited or used in ways intended to mislead. Untrue or biased stories may be created for political purposes or for profit.
In the age of social media where anyone can write something and stories spread quickly, it's up to each of us to take the time to critique the news. According to FactCheck.org, these are some good steps to determining whether a news story is credible. (Credit also to tscpl.org.)
Use these sites to determine if a story is true or false or somewhere in between.
Staff at the Library are trained in how to evaluate information. Ask us for help in person, by phone, email or chat.
If you want to research a topic, start with Library resources. Unlike a Google search where anything goes, you'll find credible, published articles from magazines, newspapers and other publications. Remember it's still important to be aware of bias and opinion.