Spotting Misinformation

According to Dictionary.com, "Misinformation refers to false information, regardless of whether or not it’s intended to mislead or deceive people. Disinformation, in contrast, refers to false information that’s spread with the specific intent of misleading or deceiving people." The word "misinformation" is often used as an umbrella term for both. This page is a guide to trustworthy resources for learning about, spotting, and fighting misinformation. 

Fact-checking Websites*

Factcheck.org  A non-profit organization that is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Politifact.com Started at the Tampa Bay Times, Politifact is now administered by the non-profit Poynter Institute

Snopes.com Beginning in the 1990's as a debunker of urban legends and hoaxes, Snopes has now expanded its reach to fact-checking all types of misinformation 

Associated Press Fact Check The fact-checking page of the Associated Press, a longstanding non-profit news agency

Reuters Fact Check The fact-checking page of the international news agency

Washington Post Fact Checker  A fact-checking column maintained by journalist Glenn Kessler

USA Today Fact Check  The fact-checking page for USA Today newspaper

Lead Stories An independent fact-checking website focusing on currently-trending stories

The Dispatch Fact Check The fact-checking page at the online magazine The Dispatch, started by former staffers of the Weekly Standard

* Because not all websites and publications claiming to be fact-checkers really are commited to facts, the links above are limited to organizations that are signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. The International Fact-Checking Network is an international association of fact-checking organizations, administered by the Poynter Institute. To search for other signatories around the world, click here.

News/Media Literacy Organizations

Spotting misinformation is one aspect of a broader set of skills known as media literacy or news literacy. Briefly, media literacy is the ability to understand and evaluate information in the mass media (TV, websites, social media, radio, newspapers, etc.) whereas news literacy focuses on the news media in particular. These terms are often used interchangeably, and the sites below are excellent resources for becoming more news/media literate.

News Literacy Project  A non-profit organization devoted to increasing news literacy among students and the public

MediaWise A non-profit project of the Poynter Institute, focused on teaching news literacy and fact-checking

National Association for Media Literacy Education A non-profit media literacy association which administers Media Literacy Week every October

PEN America. Knowing the News A media literacy program education project by PEN America, a non-profit organization focused on freedom of expression, particularly for writers and journalists

Center for an Informed Public. University of Washington A center whose mission is "to resist strategic misinformation, promote an informed society, and strengthen democratic discourse."

Duke Reporter’s Lab A center for journalism research with a focus on fact-checking. Maintains a map of fact-checking organizations worldwide.

Media Bias Ratings

Allsides Assesses the political leanings of news sources, and curates a stream of articles on current events from sources on the left, right, and center. 

Ad Fontes Media A company that assesses the quality and political leanings of news sources. Best known for their Media Bias Chart 

Media Bias / Fact Check Ranks news sources along a left to right spectrum, and also discusses pseudoscience and conspiracy sources

Reverse Image Search Engines and other Fact-checking Tools

TinEye A search engine for images

Google Images An image search engine from Google

Tools that Fight Disinformation Online: Rand Corporation An extensive list of websites, organizations, and applications for identifying mis/disinformation

First Draft Basic Toolkit A dashboard-style interface with links to technological tools for fact-checking and spotting misinformation

Courses and Curricula

Crash Course Media Literacy Series A series of videos from the Crash Course educational channel on YouTube

Checkology News literacy classes and curriculum materials, for students, teachers, and the general public. From the News Literacy Project

MediaWise Education Resources  Online courses and curriculum materials developed by MediaWise

Civic Online Reasoning Online courses and materials developed by the Stanford History Education Group

Fighting Misinformation: The Great Courses (Available through DPL via Kanopy)

 

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