University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Fake News, Propaganda, and Information Literacy

Offering a brief introduction into "fake news" and providing you with the tools for identifying and combating it.

"Truthiness"

Screenshot of Stephen Colbert and "Truthiness"Back in 2005, Stephen Colbert introduced the Word truthiness, now defined by Wikipedia as: a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

While we need to reject the idea of relying solely on from-the-gut verification systems, it is important to recognize that we are not always looking at a binary situation.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr played huge roles in circulating political information during the past election season and it is impossible to disregard the complication that our political news consumption habits have caused. 

Adapted from School Library Journal

Hoaxy Visualizes how Fake News Spreads Across Social Media

We're at the point where the reproduction of "fake news" online often has offline consequences (see, Fake News Brought Real Guns). While Google and Facebook have both taken measures to combat it, Indiana University is going about things in a different way. Hoaxy, a project from IU's Center for Complex Networks and System Research, is a search engine that tracks the spread of fake news stories on social media, visually.

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