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Evaluating Online Information: Home

Misinformation Can Hurt You

Why should you care about whether or not your news is real or fake?

  1. You deserve the truth. You are smart enough to make up your own mind - as long as you have the real facts in front of you. You have every right to be insulted when you read fake news, because you are in essence being treated like an idiot.
  2. Fake news destroys your credibility. If your arguments are built on bad information, it will be much more difficult for people to believe you in the future.
  3. Fake news can hurt you, and a lot of other people. Purveyors of fake and misleading medical advice like and help perpetuate myths like HIV and AIDS aren't related, or that vaccines cause autism. These sites are heavily visited and their lies are dangerous.
  4. Real news can benefit you. If you want to buy stock in a company, you want to read accurate articles about that company so you can invest wisely. If you are planning on voting in an election, you want to read as much good information on a candidate so you can vote for the person who best represents your ideas and beliefs. Fake news will not help you make money or make the world a better place, but real news can.

Because Fake News Can Have Real-World Consequences

The text in this box was originally created by KT Lowe, Librarian at Indiana University East. She shared it with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License license. 

Skills for Good News Consumption

Librarians take access to accurate information seriously, and we know you do, too.

We put this guide together to help students gain practical skills and new ways of thinking about how to navigate the information they encounter, and for faculty and librarians to incorporate these ideas into their classes. This guide presents information about each of the following topics on the tabs above:

Our profession, through the American Library Association, resolves to continue to play a leading role in providing access to accurate information. 
ALA's Resolution on Access to Accurate Information

About the Authors

Timothy Arnold is the International Reference & Collections Librarian

Katie Hassman is a Liaison Librarian

John Elson is the US Federal and State Government Information Librarian

Cathy Cranston is an Undergraduate Engagement Librarian

Thanks to Dan Chibnal and Zubair Shafiq for reviewing this guide.