confirmation bias: the tendency to believe information is credible if it conforms to the reader’s/viewer’s existing belief system, or not credible if it does not conform
content farm or content mill: a company that employs a staff of freelance writers to create content designed to satisfy search engine retrieval algorithms with the goal of attracting views and advertising revenue.
echo chamber: “In news media an echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” (Wikipedia)
fact checking: the act of verifying assertions either prior to publication or after dissemination of the content
filter bubble: When search tools present us with the stories we are likely to click on or share based on our past activity, potentially affirming our biases, we may be experiencing what Eli Pariser calls a filter bubble,
herding phenomenon: as more journalists begin to cover a story, even more journalists are likely to join the herd, imitating the angle the story initially took rather than developing alternate or original approaches or angles.
native advertising: paid, sponsored content designed to look like the legitimate content produced by the media outlet.
triangulation or cross verification: Researchers establish validity by using several research methods and by analyzing and examining multiple perspectives and sources in the hope that diverse viewpoints can shed greater light on a topic.
satisficing: a portmanteau of the words satisfy and suffice introduced by Herbert Simon in 1956 to refer to the tendency of people, bounded by time limitations, to select good enough information over optimal information
virality: the rapid circulation of media from one user to another. When we forward sensational stories, often from social media without checking their credibility in other sources, we increase their virality.
School Library Journal - Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world by Joyce Valenza, 2016
Indiana University East: Fake News
How to spot “fake news” by Lissa Staley, 2016
Please feel free to share this guide with others. If you are a librarian, you are welcome to use this guide and its contents for your own purposes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.