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Website Evaluation and Citation: How to Spot Fake News

This guide offers you some questions to ask yourself before you decide a web site has the information you need.

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The "SIFT Method" of Evaluation

SIFT (The Four Moves)

1. STOP

The first move is the simplest. STOP reminds you of two things. First, when you first hit a page or post and start to read it — STOP. SecondSTOP and take a second to remember your purpose.

2. INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE

Knowing the expertise and agenda of the source is crucial to your interpretation of what they say. Taking sixty seconds to figure out where media is from before reading will help you decide if it is worth your time, and if it is, help you to better understand its significance and trustworthiness.

3. FIND BETTER COVERAGE

Sometimes you don’t care about the particular article or video that reaches you. You care about the claim the article is making. You want to know if it is true or false. In this case, your best strategy may be to ignore the source that reached you, and look for trusted reporting or analysis on the claim

4. TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES, and MEDIA BACK TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT

Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context. In these cases we’ll have you trace the claim, quote, or media back to the source, so you can see it in it’s original context and get a sense if the version you saw was accurately presented.

 

By Mike Caulfield. 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

A Monroe College Research Guide

                THIS RESEARCH OR "LIBGUIDE" WAS PRODUCED BY THE LIBRARIANS OF MONROE COLLEGE