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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
Short primers on information literacy
Is this story share-worthy? (Note: The Newseum is defunct)
Reading & Resource List on Information Literacy (updated regularly)
The Political realm