Identify Fake News, Especially During a Pandemic
By University of Nicosia Library & Information Centre
The following are tips and resources for staying informed at a time when fake news and misinformation spreads widely.
Dear UNIC Family,
Today’s information environment empowers everyone to be informed, educated, entertained, do research, share information, communicate and much more from wherever he/she is. Information from all over the world is instantaneously available to everyone.
During the pandemic, more and more publishers and institutions offer relevant, free of charge, online content, which assists research on the new virus and support online education. Simultaneously, the new situation provides opportunities for unreliable information creators and malicious actions. People, isolated in their homes, are overloaded with mass media news and social media feeds, thereby, making it difficult to separate reliable information from fake news.
UNIC Library is here to help you find and use trusted sources for your personal and academic needs. Below you will find some tips to identify fake news and examples of trusted sources of information.
- Go to a trusted source (see below) a few times a day – avoid scrolling on your phone every time you get bored – pick up a book instead!
- Try not to overload your social media followers, colleagues or yourself with too much news
- Learn how to identify fake news – there are some great guides to help you, e.g.:
- 7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic – a guide created by Politifact (brief version here)
- SIFT “The Four Moves” (by Mike Caulfield) – a guide to evaluate source credibility. He, also, provides a 3hr mini course: Check Please! Starter Course
- How to spot fake news – an infographic created by IFLA with 8 simple steps to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you
- Beyond Fake News – 10 Types of Misleading Information – an infographic created by The European Association for Viewers Interests (EAVI)
Tools & sources that help you to identify fake news
Snopes – a fact-checking resource that investigates urban legends, hoaxes, and folklore. You can also check The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19 for COVID-19 related rumors and misinformation.
PolitiFact – a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others.
Google Reverse Image Search, RevEye (Google Chrome), InVid and TinEye are tools that help you find the original context of images or videos you see on social media or elsewhere.
Quote Investigator – a website that fact-checks the reported origins of widely circulated quotes.
Coronavirus Rumor Control – a webpage from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There are many trusted sources to use for your information and research on COVID-19. You can see some examples below:
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic (WHO) is the official page of World Health Organization for the latest information about coronavirus.
- ERATOSTHENES COVID-19 WebGIS Platform illustrates the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, disseminates useful statistical figures to the Governing Departments and Authorities and informs the public.
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
- EBSCO DynaMed® medical product containing helpful information about COVID-19 for you to use and share.
- Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center provides access to health and medical research with almost 20,000 relevant articles, freely available on ScienceDirect.
- EU Coronavirus response is the official site of the European Union regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
- UNIC – Information about Coronavirus provides updates on university policies based on recent developments regarding COVID-19.
You can find more sources on the Library’s news section for COVID-19
Need further help? Contact your UNIC librarian
If you are in doubt about a source you need to use or share, feel free to contact a specialist in information sources…your UNIC librarian.
Fighting fake news in the pandemic by Sarah Ostman
Pandemic Resources for Academic Libraries LibGuide by Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)