Steps to consider if you suspect misinformation
A hello and happy week to everyone here reading and participating in the AURA club. To older members, thanks for sticking with us, and to newer members, a warm, excited hello! Today, rather than discuss other mysteries and strange incidents, I wanted to remind everyone and inform the newbies of our mission and how that translates to our content!
So, AURA, or Always United Researching Authenticity Club was founded in 1998, on the principles of exploration and truth-seeking. We pride ourselves in seeking the truth, confronting our own biases, and the influence of misinformation in the media. It can be difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction especially when prominent, influential figures condone the spread of fake news. Fake news is dangerous; it can have strong political, emotional, economic, and worldly effects. For this reason, it’s important to begin to understand how to spot misinformation and the tools you can use to do so. So, here’s a quick overview of how to spot fake news.
- Consider your sources: When reading a story, check to see who is publishing the story? What is the mission statement of the organization publishing the information? Can you find their contact information? Does the source seem legitimate when you investigate the site?
- Check the author: Who is the author? What else have they written, are they credible? Are they actually a person?
- Check the date: When was this written? Is it still relevant today? Is it just being recycled as clickbait?
- Check your biases: How do your personal views affect your consumption of media? Are your own biases affecting your judgment?
- Read Beyond: Headlines are meant to capture the attention of the reader with the goal of drawing in more readers. It’s important to read past the shocking title and understand more of the story.
- Check their sources: Do they have sources? If so, do those sources actually support the claims of the article?
- Is it a joke? Does this information in question appear to be just a bit too farfetched? If so, it might be a satirical story and that can be determined by researching the news outlet and the writer.
- Ask the professionals: Reach out to a librarian, consult fact-checking, and compare other new pieces to see the validity of the story.
This is just a single resource to help combat the spread of misinformation. We've also enclosed a helpful poster that we encourage you to print out and tape to your wall. If you have any other tips you want to share with us, send us a message at email@example.com. Once again, thanks to everyone for being a part of this community and always uniting, researching, and authenticating!