In an era of post-truth and alternative facts, fake news at times seems to be running rings around its legitimate counterpart — “falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it,” as the maxim has it. While this apparent trend makes great natural experiment fodder for behavioral and social science research, it’s seed-corn for cognitive bias and may raise a crop of withered democracy. While much fake news, especially satire lifted verbatim from places like The Onion, surely is patently fake, that’s not always the case. Complicating matters, the Trump administration now insists on calling factual reports it just doesn’t like fake news. Plus, and this is hard to admit, but it is easier for all of us to get gulled by “news” that suits our own biases.
Concerned about the proliferation of fake news, CQ Press has created a short checklist aimed at students and teachers that offers some tools for divining what’s solid news and what’s bogus. (CQ is an arm of SAGE Publishing, which is the parent of Social Science Space.) You can view the checklist below, or download a PDF of the checklist HERE. Please feel free to share the link.