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Misinformation - Get the Facts

A Quick Reference Guide on Information Consumption; Tools to Encourage Individual Agency

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Investigate Across Websites

Lateral Reading 

1) Aren't familiar with the source's website? LEAVE IT to learn about it!

  • Search the wider web to find out what others say about the source

2) Don't let your search engine do the selection for you.

  • Ignore the order of the search results page. Scroll down and find the source that is best for you.

Additional Resources






SIFT: The 4 Moves

Simple Steps To Identifying Reliable Information

Determining "good" information from "bad" can get tricky sometimes. One way to decide what's what is to ask a librarian for help, or you can use SIFT, a set of 4 moves.

SIFT stands for:

  • Stop. Don't hit like, retweet, or share until you dig deeper. 
  • Investigate the source.
  • Find better or other sources.
  • Trace web path back to the original source of the claim, quote or media. 


The idea of SIFT comes from Mike Caulfield and is reused here under a Creative Commons license. 

Stop. Investigate the source. Find better or other sources. Trace back to the original source

Who Knows How to Search

A 2017 Stanford study observed “10 Ph.D. historians, 10 professional fact checkers, and 25 Stanford University undergraduates…as they evaluated live websites and searched for information on social and political issues.”

Outcome: Historians and students often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names. They read vertically, staying within a website to evaluate its reliability. In contrast, fact checkers read laterally, leaving a site after a quick scan and opening up new browser tabs in order to judge the credibility of the original site. Compared to the other groups, fact checkers arrived at more warranted conclusions in a fraction of the time. (Source Neiman Lab)

The Facts about Fact Checking: Crash Course Navigating Digital Information #2 (Video 3:54) John Green walks "through the steps that professionals follow, including figuring out who is behind the information we read, why they're sharing that information, and what kind of evidence exists to back up the claim".

Ted-Ed How to choose your news narrated by Damon Brown (Video 4:48) How do we choose which news to consume? Get the scoop on how opinions and facts affect the news and how to tell them apart.