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Flashpoint Chicago Info Commons: Information Literacy

The homepage of the Flashpoint Chicago Info Commons/Library

The CRAAP Test

When it comes to news who do you trust and who can you trust?  Put your information to the CRAAP test.  Does it stand up?

CURRENCY
  • When was the information first published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Visit the homepage. Are articles current and regularly updated?
RELEVANCE
  • Read beyond the headline
  • Is the article actually about the topic?
  • How in depth is the article?
  • Is the information presented clearly?
  • Have you looked at a variety of other news sources to understand and form a conclusion about the topic?
AUTHORITY
  • Is the author's name and bio included?
  • Can you verify who the author is by a quick Google search?
  • Who is the organization behind the information (This is very important as it will reveal bias and possible misinformation). Is it a news source? Political party? Think Tank? Corporation?
ACCURACY
  • Are there other news outlets that are reporting the same thing?  Are their facts the same?
  • Does the article provide evidence of where information was obtained?
  • Can you follow up on claims from other reputable sources?
PURPOSE
  • Does the author use emotional buzzwords that make you angry/happy/scared?
  • Does the point of view appear objective?  Look at the adjectives and nouns they use to describe people, facts, places.
  • What are your own biases? How do they influence they way you gather and interpret news?

 

Fake News

Where does fake news come from?  Why is it so prolific in our society now?  The following BBC Article explains who is behind it and why.

 

Fake news came from teenagers in Macedonia.  Why?  Read this Wired article to find out.

Fighting Misinformation

Now, more than ever, it is important to verify not only the source where the information is coming from, but also the content. The news today is full of misinformation fake news that is being churned at a very fast pace.

There are three types of Fake News

  • Misinformation - Unintentional spread of false information.
  • Disinformation - false information deliberately presented as true
  • Weaponization - undermining of legitimate news through implying it is uncredible, tenuous, and unjustifiable. Also associated to this is the practice of undercutting well researched news through the personal attacks on reporters and experts at large (Black & Fullerton).

For more information on this and the use of AI in creating fake news please see this journal article

 

Article on Disinformation campaigns and the harm it can cause.  From the article: "It’s useful to think of disinformation not as a single piece of information or even a single narrative, but as a campaign, a set of actions and narratives produced and spread to deceive for political purpose."

TEDx Video  - Unmasking Misinformation by Chris Howard "To make sense of the information streaming to and at us through media and social-media, we need to be able to detect and identify misinformation, misleading information, and disinformation. This talk shares key tools and practices we can learn that can help us navigate what can seem like a minefield of misinformation, so we can better sift valuable information from what could be harmful. Chris Coward studies information at the University of Washington Information School. As director of the UW's Technology & Social Change Group and co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public, Chris focuses on issues of access, digital inclusion, digital literacy, civic engagement, and most recently, misinformation. Fake news, disinformation, misinformation, hype, rumor and distortion can create mine field and labyrinths. He shares clues on how to strengthen constructive interactions and free yourself from the escape room of popular misinformation. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community."

 

"Disinformation leverages social media to create a snowball effect, a mammoth virtual version of the children's game of telephone. The point of this Information Age disinformation is to pump out online content that has been edited with a specific purpose in mind.  Read this article for more information on an example of this.

Bias

To see the latest chart on News outlets and their bias, please check out this LINK