4.3: Web Literacy for Fact-Checking
Upon successful completion of this subunit, you will be able to:
- source previous fact-checking work using site restricted searches, reputable fact-checking sites and critically assessing Wikipedia articles on the respective topic;
- apply "upstream" strategies to identify original sources taking knowledge of sponsored content, syndication and digital tactics to source viral content and original image sources into account;
- read laterally consulting third party resources to evaluate authority of the source and consulting high quality secondary sources;
- verify the identity of a Twitter account; and
- use the Wayback Machine to assess the history of selected websites; and
- apply Google techniques to support your fact-checking work.
In Digital literacies for Online Learning (LiDA101) we explored frameworks for evaluating the credibility and reliability of scholarly online resources. However, media literacy also requires that you develop web skills for fact-checking in the contemporary digital world of “fake news.”
The second strategy for checking a fact, quotation or article is to look for previous work. In this section we explore tactics to find out if the fact checking work has been done by someone else.
The next strategy after tracing previous fact-finding work is to “go upstream” especially in cases where articles are reporting on other reporting. Upstream means going to the source.
Reading laterally is the process of consulting third-party sources to help verify authority and reliability of the source.
Twitter does not enforce a “real name” policy, so it is possible for a person to run multiple accounts. A twitter account could be a bot, parody account or fake account. In this section we review the basics of Twitter identity and complete a short activity to verify the identity of a Twitter account.
Digital history can be a valuable resource for fact checking, especially if the past has been recorded and is publicly accessible. In this section we explore the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
In this section we highlight the importance of checking author expertise and how to trace the source of scholarly quotes using Google. We also remind learners that automatically generated search summaries from Google should not be accepted at face value in being accurate or true.
Complete the following activity.
Mini Challenge Summary
Summary: Publish a fact checking report. Time: 1 hour. Linked to Task 3 of Edubit assessment for LiDA104.