Bad information is being spread around the world right now by people who want to do our communities harm. To make sure you don’t fall for it or pass it on to your community, take a Whoa! Wait. What? approach. When something makes you say “whoa!”, wait for a minute before you pass it on, and do a little background research. The following tools can help you:
To find fact-checking sources for your local area, take a look through the Credibility Coalition Catalog for fact-checking efforts around the world, from Australia and the Americas to Zimbabwe. Snopes (really good for urban legends and email junk) and FactCheck, two long-standing fact-checking organizations, are among them.
The Fake News Codex is a good place to quickly check whether the site you’re looking at is actually a joke or satire site, as well as whether it might just be fake.
Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers is an incredibly practical guide to figuring out where online information comes from. I’d say it’s definitely useful even if you’re not a student.
Journalists have simple techniques for figuring out where something came from, even videos and stuff posted by other people. Check out this verification handbook from the Poynter Institute to learn these techniques.
Again, have a look at Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers. The Newseum also has high-quality lesson plans on identifying propaganda and figuring out whether it’s a good idea to share a story.