Fake news isn’t new. Neither are content farms, misleading websites, fake sites, filter bubbles and all sorts of other internet traps. Seriously, librarians have been telling you for years to evaluate internet sources. But did you listen? No you did not. Time for a really big, “I told you so.” And maybe a little, “Are you gonna listen now?” (Whew, I don’t know about you but I feel better now.)
So here’s the scoop. One: Use good databases to research topics. Two: If you’re going to search the open web, evaluate the results before you decide to use them. Three: Listen to librarians. (Sorry, my fingers just typed that last sentence all by themselves.)
Here are two tools you can use to to evaluate sources, one from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and another that I’ve adapted from The Newseum and from Steve Inskeep, cohost of Morning Edition at NPR. (You should verify all those sources.) Feel free to download them and post them wherever you like to post helpful signs.