Information from web sites can be very easy to find. Due to the nature of the web, it is very important to evaluate anything that you find before including it in an assignment or essay.
Anyone can author or publish material on a web site. No quality control process is required.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't use information from web sites just that you need to apply an evaluation criteria to understand
Authority - What type of site is it? Who authored the content? What was is the intended audience?
Accuracy - What evidence is presented? Does the site reference other sources?
Currency - When was the last time the site was updated? Does the information presented have a "published" date?
In the space below is a mock webpage that has been created to illustrate what to look out for when evaluating sources of information found on the internet. The Evaluating information sources criteria from the previous page can also be used to evaluate information you find on the Internet.
Credits: Website homepage mock-up was created using Wix.com
What is fake news?
"Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word." (Drobnic Holan 2016).
This poster has been created by IFLA and is based on the fact check questions suggested by the Fact Check organisation.
Using the checklist questions
Read a news item from the links provided below or select one from your subject area.
Now use each of the Fake News spotting checks from the poster above to test out the news report.
1. Where is the article from? is it a reliable source.
2. Are there other sources for this news report. Compare what you find.
3. Who is the author. Are they qualified to write or speak about this issue?
4. Check out other links which may be embedded in the article.
5. Check for satire or joke content.
6. Do your own beliefs affect the way you read the article? Challenge yourself to read from different perspectives.
7. Fact check through a fact checking site, library databases and librarians.