Information Literacy

The internet has revolutionized the way we gather and process information. It is more crucial than ever before that we think critically about where our news and information comes from and how we internalize and share it.

Misinformation and Disinformation

COVID-19 presents a dangerous health risk to be sure. And we are lucky to have great nurses to provide us with accurate resources about the disease and how to protect ourselves and our families. But there is also misinformation and disinformation that can be just just as dangerous as the disease itself. Many "news" stories, websites, and social media posts claim to offer cures, protections, and tests for COVID-19 that just aren't real.
Stay on guard for these tell tale signs from On The Media's Breaking News Consumer's Handbook:
(TL;DR: Do not share news stories based on headlines alone. Do not share social media posts until you've checked the information is real.)
News Handbook
The best place for information about the Coronavirus and Covid-19 is the Centers for Disease Control, and your state and local public health office.

Information from Social Media

Be careful what you share and believe on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Youtube.

Many of these sites present a social lifeline in these times of isolation and it is important to stay connected to friends and family that are not in our homes. But we do need to think twice before we share information that we see on there. Here are some tips for knowing when it is okay to share.
Check the source:
Absolutely Nothing

Below is a social media post cites a friend's uncle from a dinner party. (The false information is omitted as not to spread false information.) This is not something you should share with others as reliable:
False Post2

Notice on this post there are several vague sources given; Taiwan experts, Japanese doctors. The source posted at the top is Stanford. If this information did come from Stanford, then you should be looking at Stanford's own Facebook page. Notice that the image is covered with a "false" sticker so that it is clear that this information should not be trusted:

Fake Stanford

Reading articles from Fact Check and Snopes are a good way to improve your own fact checking skills. The more you see fake posts analyzed, the more you will be able to see false information yourself.

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