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Fact-Checking and Misinformation

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

T - Trace Claims, Quotes, & Media to Original Context

Much of what we find on the internet has been stripped of context. Maybe there’s a video of a fight between two people with Person A as the aggressor. But what happened before that? What was clipped out of the video and what stayed in? Maybe there’s a picture that seems real but the caption could be misleading. Maybe a claim is made about a new medical treatment based on a research finding—but you’re not certain if the cited research paper actually said that. The people who re-report these stories either get things wrong by mistake, or, in some cases, they are intentionally misleading us.

In these cases you will want to trace the claim, quote, or media back to the source, so you can see it in its original context and get a sense of whether the version you saw was accurately presented. Please watch the following video [1:33] that discusses re-reporting vs. original reporting and demonstrates a quick tip: going “upstream” to find the original reporting source.

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