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Disinformation and misinformation are existential threats to our democracy because they undermine our trust in a shared reality, and we lose our common ground. (Dr. Kate Starbird, University of Washington, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, "The Weirdest Election 'Night' Ever," webinar, 2020 October 19)

Avoid information bubbles

When you get all of your news from one source, you are getting only one perspective that may be biased. Just as a balanced diet is good for your body, a variety of news sources is good for your mind.

 

AllSides considers media bias and presents parallel news stories from the left, center, and right.

Media Bias/Fact Check rates news media on their bias; check out their list of least-biased news sources.

 

There are facts, and then there is everything else
 

"Just the facts, ma'am," was a famous quotation attributed to Sergeant Joe Friday on the 1950s television drama Dragnet. But he never actually said that, so even one of our most well-known catchphrases about facts is a myth.

What is a fact? (Merriam-Webster definition)

What is a fabricated fact? (Black's Law Dictionary)

There are a lot of things floating around out there that are not facts. Analyses, interpretations, opinions, predictions, speculation, misinformation, rumors, fake news, myths, conspiracy theories, urban legends, fabrications, hoaxes, and bald-faced lies sometimes smother the facts. Facts can be checked and verified.

Here are some fact-checking tools:

 

Feature: Voting laws

Bill HR 1 fact-checked

How often does voter impersonation happen?

The new Georgia voting law

Sunday voting in Georgia

 

Feature: Immigration

Fact-checking President Biden's claims

Asylum grants and immigration court attendance

Colorado gunman did not come illegally from Mexico

Apprehensions at the border

Did a United Nations official condemn conditions in migrant detention facilities?

Fact-checking the Homeland Security secretary

Biden did not demolish Trump's wall

How many terrorists cross our southern border?

Is the border wide open?

Are migrants being treated better than the National Guard?

 

Feature: American Rescue Plan

Where the money goes

How much pork is in the COVID relief bill?

Bridges and tunnels part of the American Rescue Plan?

Dissecting spin on the COVID relief bill

Who is eligible for a stimulus check?

Will criminals in prison get stimulus checks?

Checks for prisoners and illegal immigrants?

Will it raise taxes on middle-income people?

Did Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi sneak money into the bill?

Did members of Congress get a salary bonus in this bill?

 

Feature: What is QAnon?

QAnon's corrosive impact on the U.S. (60 Minutes)

What is QAnon, the baseless conspiracy spilling into US politics?

What is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory

QAnon Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation

QAnon: What is it and where did it come from?

A Breeding Ground for Conspiracies: How QAnon Helped Bring About the U.S. Capitol Assault

CNN Special Report: Inside the QAnon Conspiracy

How a South Carolina mom left QAnon behind

A rare look at pro-Trump conspiracy theorists in their own words

Residents of Washington town wonder if QAnon has taken hold of their mayor

What is QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory causing controversy at the RNC

People tell us how QAnon destroyed their relationships

QAnon supporters who ran for Congress in 2020

The Prophecies of Q

QAnon goes European

 

Short primers on information literacy

An owl says "hoo" and you should too

Bias and logical fallacies go together like love and marriage

Everything but the truth

Watch their language

What a carrot can teach us about viewpoints

Why social media should not be your news media

 

Educate yourself

Bad News (misinformation game)

Calling  Bullshit: Data Reasoning in a Digital World

Cognitive biases

First Draft's Essential Guide to Understanding Information Disorder

First Draft's Essential Guide to Verifying Online Information

Information Disorder: The Essential Glossary

Is this story share-worthy? (Note: The Newseum is defunct)

Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information

The Skeptical Inquirer Presents

Thou shall not commit logical fallacies

Master List of Logical Fallacies

 

Reading & Resource List on Information Literacy (updated regularly)

 

Investigative tools

BotSlayer: track disinformation on Twitter

Comparison of reverse image searching tools

Google Reverse Image Search

Guide to Using Reverse Image Search for Investigations

InVid Verification Plugin

NewsGuard: trust ratings for news websites

 

The Political realm

A Timeline of Trump's words

Misinformation in the 2020 U.S. Elections & Social Media Platform Policies

Fact-checking the Capitol insurrection

The Capitol Siege: The Arrested and Their Stories

The myth that Antifa stormed the Capitol

Mis/disinformation and the Capitol breach

Dirty Tricks: 9 Falsehoods that Could [and did] Undermine the 2020 Election

No evidence that Dominion Voting Systems flipped votes

Charges about voting technology companies

Examining false beliefs about voter fraud

Factchecking (sic) the Electoral College Debate [2020 Presidential election]

A Tale of Two Elections: CBS and Fox News' Portrayal of the 2020 Presidential Campaign

TV news outlets overrepresent extreme partisans in Congress

Research on the Confederate flag, divisive politics and enduring meanings

How Facebook could reduce political animosity

 

COVID-19 corner

CoronaVirusFacts Database

Coronavirus Rumor Control (FEMA)

Federal Government COVID-19 information

Coronavirus Mythbusters (World Health Organization)

Coronavirus Resource Center (Johns Hopkins University)

CoronaVirusFacts Alliance (Poynter Institute)

Information on vaccines (COVID Collaborative)

Questions and answers about vaccines (Washington Post Fact Checker)

False vaccine claims persist on Facebook

False and unsupported claims about vaccines

How to fact-check coronavirus information on social media

How to stop friends and relatives from spreading misinformation

A chiropractor's video filled with false and misleading claims about face masks

For mask skeptics

Distortions about the effectiveness of masks

Wisconsin state documents on COVID-19

Wisconsin COVID-19 information

"Dr." in front of a name does not always mean trustworthiness

Governors' shutdowns did not cause the pandemic jobs crisis (analysis by the Washington Post)

Most bizarre COVID-19 fact checks

 

Archive

Facebook Fact-Checks by Politifact

Joe Biden’s inauguration in extraordinary times, fact-checked

One last time (as president): Fact-checking Donald Trump’s departure speech

Whoppers of 2020 by FactCheck

Lie of the Year [2020] by Politifact

Politifact's top 10 fact-checks of 2020

Biggest Pinocchios of the Year [2020] by the Washington Post

The scariest misinformation of 2020 by Politifact

The Global Disinformation Disorder

How Disinformation Evolved in 2020

 

Just For Fun

"Hokum Bunkum Balderdash" a song by Lou & Peter Berryman