Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Fact-Checking and Misinformation

Vet websites using fact checkers’ strategies (such as the SIFT method), and why you should do it.

F - Find Better Coverage

What if the source you find is low-quality, or you can’t determine if it is reliable or not? Perhaps  you don’t really care about the source—you care about the claim that source is making. You want to know if it is true or false. You want to know if it represents a consensus viewpoint, or if it is the subject of much disagreement. A common example of this is a meme you might encounter on social media. The random person or group who posted the meme may be less important than the quote or claim the meme makes.

Your best strategy in this case might actually be to find a better source altogether, to look for other coverage that includes trusted reporting or analysis on that same claim. Rather than relying on the source that you initially found, you can trade up for a higher quality source.

The point is that you’re not wedded to using that initial source. We have the internet! You can go out and find a better source, and invest your time there. Please watch this video [4:10] that demonstrates this strategy and notes how fact-checkers build a library of trusted sources they can rely on to provide better coverage.

Note: Turn on closed captions with the “CC” button or use the text transcript if you prefer to read.

Adaptation of "Introduction to College Research" by Walter D. Butler, Aloha Sargent, and Kelsey Smith is licensed under CC BY 4.0