Di Zhang, SPL, “Fake News Survival Guide”

Deluged as we are with news, it has now gotten to the point at which the genuine from the false needs to be determined. Di (Day) Zhang, of the Seattle Public Library, excerpting from the “Fake News Survival Guide”, arrived to be of help.

Referring to online news, he cautioned that it is easy to create content, with the risk of it being false. The information cycle (major event–TV–social media–web) moves so fast that fact-checking cannot easily be done, except for TV. It does, in fact, take time and $ to check facts.

Information goes out quickly and generates clicks. Each click generates ad revenue. Fake news imitates websites. Sometimes, the purveyors of fake news vanish, only to resurface at unannounced times.

Evaluation of information comes under these headings:

  • Consistent with sources found
  • Inconsistent with sources found
  • Inconclusive, given sources found
  • Outside the scope of service.

Three tips:

  • Read article first before sharing
  • Check the sources
  • What is the support?

Also, consider a subscription to a reputable service.

The concept of the “filter bubble” concerns familiarity with one’s interests. Then one receives information consistent with one’s likes, with the dislikes filtered out.

Overall advice: Ask a librarian.

Twain: “A lie is halfway around the world before the truth has its shoes on.”

 

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