Free Expression vs. Misinformation Online: Who Decides?

Description: This webinar explores the question, “How do Americans weigh a core value like free expression against the downsides that come with harmful content and misinformation online?” A report by Gallup and Knight Foundation, released June 16, 2020, explores attitudes toward key issues in tech policy, including content moderation, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and approaches to industry self-governance like Facebook’s Oversight Board. This new study provides a springboard for tech companies, government, and citizens alike to advance a conversation about free expression online.

Speakers:

  • Evelyn Aswad, Professor of Law and Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law, the University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Paul Barrett, Deputy Director, New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights
  • Daphne Keller, Director of the Program on Platform Regulation, the Stanford Cyber Policy Center
  • Heather Moore, Governance and Strategic Initiatives, Facebook
  • Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
  • John Samples, Vice President and Founder, the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute

Why I trust it: The Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots that invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. The Knight brothers believed that a well-informed community could best determine its own true interests and was essential to a well-functioning, representative democracy. The Knights formed the Knight Foundation to promote excellence in journalism and the success of the communities in which they worked.

Use: Use this resource to understand the complexities in the relationship between freedom of expression and misinformation.

Access: This webinar is accessible at this link.

Citation: Free expression vs misinformation online: Who decides? (2020). The Knight Foundation & Gallup. https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2385290/B1DC447C174AAFED9CF96941BE01B79F

Encyclopedia of Associations: National Organizations of the U.S.

cenegage.com

Description: This resource lists organizations in the U.S. that are officially recognized.

Why I trust it: For 65 years, Gale has provided libraries and other educational institutions with databases on a variety of subjects. The publishing company uses a world-wide network of scholars to curate and review its content.

Use: Use this resource to verify the world-wide recognition of an organization with which you plan to become involved.

Access: This resource is available through several university library systems. If it’s not available at your library, you can try requesting it through interlibrary loan.

Encyclopedia of associations: National organizations of the U.S. (59). (2020). Gale Research Inc. https://www.cengage.com/search/productOverview.do?Ntt=Encyclopedia+of+Associations%3A+National+Organizations+of+the+U.S.|11059768470553036219263470251746241506&N=197&Nr=197&Ns=P_CopyRight_Year%7C1&Ntk=APG%7CP_EPI&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

Dictionary of Political Biography

oxfordreference.com

Description: This online dictionary offers short biographical entries of 870+ noteworthy political figures from the twentieth century, compiled by trustworthy experts.

Why I trust it: Oxford Reference has existed as a producer of scholarly publications since the 15th Century. Currently, the Oxford Press is governed by a large group of academics, and its publications are trusted by libraries worldwide.

Use: There are a lot of political names in the news. Use this dictionary to look up unknown names of major people who have shaped the world. You’ll find trustworthy snapshot biographies. You don’t need to read an entire biographical book to understand how that person plays into the story at-hand.

Access: This resource is available through the University at Albany Libraries. If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member, you can proxy into the server using your UAlbany ID. Otherwise, you can visit one of the library buildings on the main campus and use a guest computer pass to access the database. Visit the circulation desk to request a guest computer pass.

Citation:
Kavanagh, D. & Riches, C. (2016). Dictionary of political biography (2). Oxford Reference. http://www.oxfordreference.com.libproxy.albany.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780191751080.001.0001/acref-9780191751080

Measuring News Media Literacy

digitalcommons.uri.edu/jmle/vol6/iss3/3

Description: This scholarly article details a study that measured levels of news media literacy among 500 teenagers. The researchers applied Potter’s 2004 model of media literacy to the concept of news literacy and found that having greater knowledge about topics in the news, conditions under which news is produced, and the effects news can have on society results in higher levels of news media literacy.

Why I trust it: Published by the open-access Journal of Media Literacy Education, this article is peer-reviewed through the University of Rhode Island.

Use: Use this resource to learn about strategies for media literacy assessment. It has a long list of references for further reading.

Access: Users can access this through the Education Source database through the University at Albany Libraries. If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member, you can proxy into the server using your UAlbany ID. Otherwise, you can visit one of the library buildings on the main campus and use a guest computer pass to access the database. Visit the circulation desk to request a guest computer pass.

Maksl, A., Ashley, S., & Craft, S. (2015). Measuring news media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 6(3), 29-45. https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jmle/vol6/iss3/3

The First Amendment Encyclopedia

mtsu.edu/first-amendment

Description: This online encyclopedia is a collection of articles about free expression in America, curated by faculty of the Middle Tennessee State University.

Why I trust it: This resource is presented by the Free Speech Center and the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies. It is edited by two scholars, one of whom, Dr. John R. Vile, is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at MTSU. The other scholar, David L. Hudson, Jr., is a former member of the Nashville First Amendment Center, and he now teaches at the Nashville School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School. A unique aspect about this encyclopedia is that it provides you with direct contact information for its collaborators. If you have questions, reach out to these experts for an interview.

Use: First amendment issues are all over the Internet, and understanding them will help you think critically about the information you consume. Use this encyclopedia to understand more about freedom of speech and expression.

Access: Users can access this online encyclopedia with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Vile, J. R. & Hudson, D. L. (2019). The First Amendment encyclopedia. Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved from https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment

Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages

products.abc-clio.com/abc-cliocorporate/product.aspx?pc=A4267C

Description: This worksheet includes a series of questions to help information consumers determine the process, context, and framework of a media product.

Why I trust it: This worksheet is included in a book meant to aid people in decoding diverse types of media. It is published by Praeger, a company affiliated with ABC-CLIO and trusted by libraries worldwide.

Use: This worksheet can be used to help you evaluate the quality of a piece of information you find on the internet.

Access: Users can access this book through many university libraries, including SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Orange. It can be requested through the UAlbany interlibrary loan service as well.

Citation:
Silverblatt, A., Smith, A., Don Miller, C., Smith, J., & Brown, N. (2014). Keys to interpreting media messages [worksheet]. Media literacy: Keys to interpreting media messages (4th ed., pp. 203-9). Praeger.

Issues: Understanding Controversy and society

products.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=ISSUW

Description: This database is a collection of authoritative, scholarly eBooks on a broad range of topics. It includes more than 7,300 primary and secondary sources, including 4,900 photos and illustrations and 160 audio and video recordings.

Why I trust it: ABC-CLIO (a collaboration between the American Bibliographic Center and CLIO Press) has been developing leading, authoritative reference resources for more than 60 years. It also offers professional development through its Libraries Unlimited program, aimed at supporting educators and librarians in lifelong learning.

Use: This database is full of trustworthy information to help you learn more about a topic you discuss or read about in the news. It includes a standards based curriculum, updated daily by a team of subject-specific experts and supported by an extensive range of instructional material. You can also find a collection of commentaries from noted scholars commissioned to foster critical thinking through exposure to varying viewpoints.

Access: You can access this database through the University at Albany Libraries. If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member, you can proxy into the server using your UAlbany ID. Otherwise, you can visit one of the library buildings on the main campus and use a guest computer pass to access the database. Visit the circulation desk to ask for a guest computer pass.

Citation:
Carter, G.L., Dunbar, J., Gypton, J., Stewart, C., and VanHorn, A. (2020). Issues: Understanding controversy and society [database]. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved from https://publisher-abc-clio-com.libproxy.albany.edu

ProCon

procon.org

Description: This informational website is a collection of information on 70 controversial issues.

Why I trust it: ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan public organization with a mission to promote critical thinking and informed citizenship. It was awarded a platinum rating by the nonprofit reviewer Guidestar.

Use: When you hear or read about a controversial current issue or event, you can use this website to understand major points on both sides of the topic.

Access: Users can access this website with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Markoff, S.C. (2004). ProCon.org: Pros and cons of controversial issues. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.procon.org

BBB Scam Tracker

bbb.org/scamtracker

Description: This resource is a database of reported and investigated scams, compiled and researched by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB is a nonprofit organization that accredits businesses.

Use: Mysterious voicemail? Offer too-good-to-be-true? Think you’ve stumbled upon a scam? The BBB Scam Tracker might be able to help you determine if it is. Pop keywords into the search bar and see.

Access: This resource is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Better Business Bureau. (2020). BBB scam tracker [database]. https://bbb.org/scamtracker

The Challenge That’s Bigger Than Fake News

aft.org/ae/fall2017/mcgrew_ortega_breakstone_wineburg

Description: This scholarly article critiques common strategies used to teach news literacy, arguing that many lesson plans only teach people to analyze the surface of a website and that “determining who’s behind information and whether it’s worthy of our trust is more complex than a true/false dichotomy” (p. 4).

Why I trust it: Sarah McGrew, one of the article’s authors, co-directs the Civic Online Reasoning Project at the Stanford History Education Group with Joel Breakstone. Breakstone’s research focuses on instructional assessment. Sam Wineburg is the founder of the project and is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford. Teresa Ortega is the project manager.

Use: If you’re an educator, use this resource to critique and strengthen your news literacy lesson plans so that your students internalize lifelong news literacy skills.

Access: You can access this online for free through the American Educator archives.

Citation:
McGrew, S., Ortega, T., Breakstone, J., & Wineburg, S. (2017). The challenge that’s bigger than fake news: Civic reasoning in a social media environment. American Educator. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from https://www.aft.org/ae/fall2017/mcgrew_ortega_breakstone_wineburg

A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation

icfj.org/sites/default/files/2018-07/A Short Guide to History of Fake News and Disinformation_ICFJ Final.pdf

Description: This short eBook addresses the fact that fake news is not new. It offers an overview of major moments in the history of disinformation, in timeline format. It includes events from the Marc Antony smear campaign of 44BC, to the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in 1493, to the 2005 creation of the Colbert Report, to a 2017 European Union report on fake news. The last few pages of the eBook detail an accompanying learning module.

Why I trust it: This resource is a relatively recent publication that was sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit that has worked with more than 100,000 journalists from 180 countries. Its aim is to provide journalists with resources that enhance their skills and expertise, and the resource itself presents facts without bias.

Use: The best way to arm yourself against fake news is to understand how it developed into what it is today. Use this resource to quickly grasp the overall timeline of disinformation, or use the learning module to help others understand as well.

Access: This resource is free for download from icfj.org.

Citation:
Posetti, J. & Matthews, A. (2018). A short guide to the history of ‘fake news’ and disinformation: A new ICFJ learning module. International Center for Journalists. https://www.icfj.org/sites/default/files/2018-07/A%20Short%20Guide%20to%20History%20of%20Fake%20News%20and%20Disinformation_ICFJ%20Final.pdf

Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints

gale.com/c/in-context-opposing-viewpoints

Description: This database is a collection of research-based entries covering current issues. It approaches the information in a pro/con format and includes articles, maps, infographics, and more. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: For 65 years, Gale has provided libraries and other educational institutions with databases on a variety of subjects. The publishing company uses a world-wide network of scholars to curate and review its content.

Use: When you hear or read about a controversial current issue or event, you can use this database to understand major points on both sides of the topic.

Access: You can access this database through the University at Albany Libraries. If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member, you can proxy into the server using your UAlbany ID. Otherwise, you can visit one of the library buildings on the main campus and use a guest computer pass to access the database. Visit the circulation desk to ask for a guest computer pass.

Citation:
Gale in context: Opposing viewpoints [database]. (2019). Gale. http://go.galegroup.com.libproxy.albany.edu/ps/start.do?p=OVIC&u=albanyu

Not Real News

apnews.com/NotRealNews

Description: This weekly Associated Press column offers an overview and fact-check of the top viral social media content.

Why I trust it: The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news producer that has been in existence for over 150 years. It has won over 50 Pulitzer Prizes, and its content is trusted and reproduced by newspapers world-wide.

Use: Stay on top of the news you find on social media by reading this column each week.

Access: Users can access this column with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
The Associated Press. (2019). Not real news. AP News. https://www.apnews.com/NotRealNews

The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking

press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/C/bo21182584.html

Description: This Chicago guide, published in 2016, offers tools and best practices for fact checking across multiple forms of media.

Why I trust it: This guide was published by the same company that publishes the Chicago Manual of Style, and it draws on the expertise of over 200 professional writers, editors, and fact-checkers. The book’s editor, Brooke Borel, is a former research editor at Science Illustrated and a former fact checker at Quanta. She also teaches science communication workshops at New York University.

Use: Use this manual to beef up your fact-checking skills. You’ll find numerous strategies to fact-check across multiple forms of media. You’ll also find, at the end of the book, 20 full pages of references organized by chapter. This allows you to trace the information inside the book to make sure it’s authoritative.

Access: This title is accessible in-library through the University at Albany Libraries’ reference collection under call number ZA3075 .B67 2016. You can also request this title through the New York Public Library, or you can try requesting it through interlibrary loan.

Citation:
Borel, B. (2016). The Chicago guide to fact-checking. University of Chicago Press. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1043503275

Hudson’s Washington News Media Contact Guide

greyhouse.com/hudsons_washington_news_media_contacts

Description: This periodical reference has been published for over 50 years and offers contact information for over 4,000 key media contacts. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: This publication offers new, updated editions annually. It includes media contacts that one would not typically be able to find on the Internet.

Use: Have a question about an article you are reading? See if the author’s contact information—or the contact information of a cited source— is available through this resource. Reach out and verify the information before you trust it.

Access: This resource is available through several university library systems. If it’s not available at your library, try requesting it through an inter-library loan.

Citation:
Hudson’s Washington news media contacts guide. (2020). Grey House Publishing. https://www.greyhouse.com/hudsons_washington_news_media_contacts

Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric

washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker

Description: This column, based on sound news media principles, is authored by professional fact checker Glenn Kessler and his colleagues Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly. Its goal is to fact check the statements of political figures and weed through political rhetoric. The authors also investigate answers to questions submitted by readers. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: Glenn Kessler is an award-winning journalist whose career spans decades. His fact-checking team analyzes political statements on both the left and right, and they do so without inserting opinion. The column appears in the national-news section of The Post, seperate from the editorial or opinion sections. Also, members of the team are not permitted to engage in partisan political activity or make contributions to candidates or advocacy organizations.

Use: Use this resource to fill in missing context in political statements and get a more comprehensive, unbiased picture of topics mentioned by politicians.

Access: Users can access this column with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Kessler, G. (2020). Fact checker: The truth behind the rhetoric. Washington Post. https://washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker.  

Is it True? A Fake News Database

politico.com/interactives/2018/is-this-true

Description: People send in suspected hoaxes, doctored images, and fake websites. Then, Politico’s team works to determine the truth.

Why I trust it: Politico’s mission is to provide its audience with accurate, nonpartisan information. In 2012, the Poynter Institute found that about the same percentage of Politico readers identify as democrat as do those that identify as republican, so you can bet their investigations are unbiased. Learn more about Politico here.

Use: Reading something you suspect could be fake? Pop keywords into this database to see if it’s been investigated by Politico. If not, visit this link for a submission form.

Access: Users can access this database with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Lima, C & Briz, A. (2018). Is it true? A fake news database. Politico. https://www.politico.com/interactives/2018/is-this-true

Snopes

snopes.com/fact-check

Description: Snopes offers an archive of investigated rumors and claims, debunking or verifying them so you don’t have to.

Why I trust it: The oldest and largest online fact-checking site, Snopes’ contextualized analysis uses evidence-based practices to fact-check the media. The company has been independently verified by the International Fact Checking Network, and, in the spirit of truth-seeking, it invites skepticism and challengers. The fact-checkers attempt to contact sources for interviews, and they seek out supporting information. They consult experts, and each fact-check travels through multiple staffers. Learn more here.

Use: Reading something you suspect could be a false or a hoax? Pop keywords into the Snopes search bar to see if it’s been investigated.

Access: Users can access this site with a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Mikkelson, D. (2020). Fact check. Snopes. https://snopes.com/fact-check

TinEye

tineye.com

Description: This reverse image search engine accesses a multibillion index of web images to determine an image’s origin and locate/track modified versions.

Use: Wondering if that picture is a hoax? Try reverse searching it with TinEye to find its true origin. Learn more about how to use TinEye here.

Access: TinEye is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Reverse image search. (2020). TinEye. https://tineye.com

Census Data

data.census.gov/cedsci

Description: Census Data is a government-funded database of community facts—from population data, to school district data, to data on income. Learn more here.

Why I trust it: It’s just the data—plain and simple. Independently reviewing raw data gives information consumers an opportunity to evaluate it without biased commentary.

Use: Fact check news and statements by public figures by popping cited census data into the Census Data search bar to see if it matches or if the article’s language is misleading.

Access: Census Data is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Census Data. (2020). Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. https://data.census.gov/cedsci

PolitiFact

politifact.com

Description: The PolitiFact nonpartisan investigative team rates political statements for accuracy based on independent news expertise and then awards statements a score on a “truthometer.” Learn more about PolitiFact’s methodology here.

Why I trust it: PolitiFact’s core values include: thorough reporting, independence, transparency, and fairness. PolitiFact does not accept donations from political parties, elected officials, candidates seeking public office, or anonymous sources. Learn more about PolitiFact’s financials here.

Use: This organization has been fact-checking since 2007, and it has gained a reputation for unbiased investigation into the truth (or lack thereof) of political statements. Use it to gain some perspective on political entities on all sides. 

Access: Politifact is free for use through a preferred internet browser from any computer in the United States, and beyond.

Citation:
Holan, A.D. (2020). PolitiFact. The Poynter Institute. https://politifact.com