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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: Fact-checking the January 20th presidential speeches

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

 

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

 

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

Cognitive biases

Information Disorder: The Essential Glossary

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

Thou shall not commit logical fallacies

Master List of Logical Fallacies

Reading & Resource List on Information Literacy (updated regularly)

 

Investigative tools

Google Reverse Image Search

InVid Verification Plugin

 

The Political realm

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

 

Archive

Whoppers of 2020 by FactCheck

Lie of the Year [2020] by Politifact

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

The Global Disinformation Disorder

How Disinformation Evolved in 2020

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