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You may have seen the chart above before. personally I think it’s great and pretty accurate. Here’s a link to the site where it comes from (often I just see it floating around alone and not linked to its parent site).

And again, you might find the Media Bias / Fact Check website helpful, too.

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https://twitter.com/BettyBowers/status/954827436847521794

This tweet is both unacceptable and unnecessary–or rather, it’s unnecessary that it be so wrong. The video shown is actually from the Women’s March in 2017, not from this year, but the tweet only hashtags #WomensMarch2018 and doesn’t mention that it’s an old video. This gives people who hate the Women’s Marches fuel to deny the crowds that did actually exist this year. All this tweet needed was a mention that the video was from last year and a link to any number of articles about all the marches this year. Or they could have just taken footage or photographs from this year to use instead. I was there in NYC yesterday. There were plenty of people getting photos of the massive crowd. The march was so big that we crawled along shoulder-to-shoulder with masses of people. One photo of that would have been impressive enough.Here’s one I took:

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Obviously I didn’t get a bird’s eye view but there were other photos of that event that did.  A quick google search found me plenty of articles and images, like this one. there were people as far as the eye could see and most of the time there was little room to even let my sign down for a minute so I could get something out of my backpack. It was crazy packed.

So why use last year’s video? I just don’t get it. I don’t know if they were just lazy or just thought that video was so impressive it should be used again.

How did I know it was last year’s video? Easy. It looked really familiar, so I wondered if it might be a video I’d seen before. So, I clicked on the source (which was at least provided) and then on the media from that source, and sure enough that video was posted a year ago. I do give the Mrs. Betty Bowers account credit for linking to the source, so that anyone who checks will know it’s not from this year, but I know most people will not check, so they should have mentioned that the video was old or just used new footage.

I know people will roll their eyes at my fastidiousness, but we need to hold higher standards and not just blindly share false information or information that is old but implied to be new. Yes, I do think this is important. Getting your information right is important in this political climate and with so many disregarding truth altogether.

Do you ever wonder why I get so passionate about fake news stories, false memes, bad science, and myths? Sometimes I hear statements like, “Well, it definitely could be true.” Or “Even if it’s not true it’s a good story.”  NOPE.  First of all, truth matters. Facts matter. I find it upsetting to see people spreading false stories either from the right or the left. Of course, I have a bias, but I will fact check anyone, even if they might share my general bias (my friends can attest to this).

Second of all, fake news can have horrible consequences. There’s a story about that in today’s The Daily podcast, which is produced by the New York Times. It’s a fascinating and disturbing story of one fake news story and its awful consequences. It is important to check your sources and be careful what information you spread. This story shows why. Click here for the story from The Daily.

Another problem on the internet (and beyond) is the existence of so-called think tanks and research organizations that don’t do actual bonafide and tested research or follow the scientific method, but instead arrange “evidence” that backs up the ideas they want to promote. Then politicians, unethical journalists, and others use their work to prop up their own ideas.

Here’s a good article from Wired about this.

One organization I’ve seen lately is the American College of Pediatricians–not to be confused with the legit American Academy of Pediatrics, which props up ideas for anti-LGBT  groups. Here’s an article from Psychology Today about them and another from Patheos.  They are extensively cited by groups listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They should not be confused with the AAP if you see them mentioned online.

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  1. Amara Organics doesn’t sound like a site for a big TV scoop.
  2. It’s both a sponsored post and has a sensationalist headline.
  3. You can do a news search for Lena Headey and see no news like this from any other source.
  4. All of the above.

 

Yep, it’s #4. I didn’t bother giving them a click and my bullshit radar was pinging like crazy at first glance. Yet, they have over 1,600 reactions, 107 shares, and many, many comments (some of which also proclaim it as B.S., at least). There are probably even more by now–I took this screenshot this around noon.

Sure, it’s not that important, but just goes to show how easily a clickbait fake news headline will spread. It’s effective and that’s why even some marketers are using the technique (although I hope it backfires and people are irritated like I am–I will never knowingly buy from this company after seeing this). If they will lie about this, I couldn’t trust anything they claim about their products.

Here is an amazing PDF of guidelines for how to evaluate information using the CRAAP test.

Currency: The timeliness of the information
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs
Authority: The source of the information
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content
Purpose: The reason the information exists

You can click the link at the top for more explanation, of course. You can also watch a video here:


Credit to Raritan Valley Community College’s Evelyn S. Field Library.

Here’s a helpful video on spotting fake news, and teaching others how to spot it. I am the mother of three (one in elementary school, one in middle school, one in high school), and I’m always trying to teach my kids how to be skeptical of what they see on the internet.

All credit to John Spencer on YouTube, who has other great videos you might want to check out.