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Fighting Misinformation: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Newsweek, 25 August 1986, p. 27.

What is Misinformation?

What is misinformation?

Information that is misleading, erroneous, or false

Why should I care?

Why should you care about misinformation or "fake news"?

  1. You deserve the truth.  You are smart enough to make up your own mind - as long as you have the real facts in front of you.  You have every right to be insulted when you read fake news, because you are in essence being treated like an idiot.
  2. Misinformation destroys your credibility.  If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
  3. It can hurt you, and a lot of other people. Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like Mercola.com and NaturalNews.com help perpetuate myths like HIV and AIDS aren't related, or that vaccines cause autism. These sites are heavily visited and their lies are dangerous.
  4. Real news can benefit you. If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs.