When you come across articles like this you want to keep five things in mind:
Adapted from Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers by Michael A. Caulfield
Have you ever seen an article posted onto Facebook that made you angry? Have you ever shared a link you found on Twitter without reading the linked article? Odds are the answer to at least one of these questions is yes! But How can you tell if that article you shared is real and/or accurate?
This video from CrashCourse by author Jon Green explains how to do fact checking like the experts.
Lateral reading is a technique used by professional fact checkers to verify information. This video from Brandon Wilkinson from the Linfield Library will give you an overview of how to do lateral reading.
There are a number of very good fact checking websites out there that I go to when someone sends me an email, posts something on social media, or tells me a "true" story that gives me pause.
Adapted from the Meriam Library, California State University, Chico
Currency: Timeliness of the information
When was the information published or posted? Has the information been revised or updated? Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Who is the intended audience? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs?) Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?
Authority: The source of the information
Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor? What are the author’s credentials or organization affiliations? Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Does the url say anything about the source?
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
Where does the information come from? Is the information supported by evidence? Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade? Do the authors make their intentions or purpose clear? Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?