How do we become better citizens of information?

Much has been written in the last few weeks about how we consume and share news, links and information around and beyond the recent elections. Do we live in a post-truth world? These are not new issues but social media and the internet have created new profit models around deliberately creating and perpetuating incorrect information.

Suggestions to become better users of information

1) Say No to Clickbait and check the domain name

Is it a .com? .org? Or a fake version of a real site (e.g. abc.com.co)?

2) Check the date

Has it just been labeled as “breaking news” even though it is out of date? Who is the author? Google them? What are their credentials or experience? Who supports the site?

3) Find the original source and read it

This will help you form your own opinions. Get a variety of opinions on topics you care about. Advocate for real news and call out the fake and biased.

4) Start at a library: lib.umn.edu

Librarians at the University of Minnesota are here to help. We teach and support students’ growing Information Literacy skills — which are a great anecdote to fake news. We will not judge you for your ideas and opinions. We’re here to help you and all students, faculty, and staff become more informed consumers and producers of information.

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Questions or comments?

Please contact Lindsay Matts-Benson (matt0341@umn.edu) or Kate Peterson (katep@umn.edu) with comments or questions. 

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