Before you share an article or image on social media with your friends, it is best that you take a moment to think about the truth of the article. Check the facts of the article first before taking things as they are. Keep your emotions in check when faced with titles that appeal to your emotions such as anger or pity.
We have listed down two methods below that you can use when you wish to evaluate and fact-check articles that you see on the web.
The News Literacy Project has come up with a checklist with a list of questions to help with fake news detection. Read the web article and then go through the questions in the checklist. The more red flags you circle in the checklist, the more skeptical you should be about the news article. If you think it is fake news, make sure to fact check with other sources!
You can use the checklist by accessing this link here.
Try using the checklist on this article!
Are ‘Mutated’ Daisies Really Caused by Fukushima Radiation?
The 'four moves' method is introduced by Michael Caulfield in his book 'Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers'. He lists four moves that can help you to get closer to the truth. The moves, as listed in his book, are:
1. Checking for previous work:
Look around to see if anyone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a review of the research.
2. Go upstream to the source:
Get to the original source to understand the trustworthiness of the information.
3. Read laterally
When you have identified the source of the claim, read about what others say about the source, e.g. the publication, author, website etc
4. Circle back
Go back and start over again to the initial information, especially if you have hit a roadblock. With the information you know now, you are likely to make a more informed decision.