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Misinformation Guide

Learn how to be an informed consumer of social media and the news

What is SIFT?

SIFT is a method for identifying misinformation in the digital world. It was developed by Mike Caulfield. Find videos about this process on the Digital Literacy page of this guide.

SIFT method for evaluating information in a digital world

Check Your Feed with SIFT (the four moves - Stop, Investigate, Find, Trace)

STOP: 

  • Take a breath, check your reaction, pause, re-evaluate.
  • Ask yourself if you are certain the information is true.
  • Don't re-post, use, or share it until you know. 

undefinedINVESTIGATE: 

  • Look at the source. Who created the information?
  • Look into who is behind the post and think about why they might post that information.
  • Try looking in Wikipedia or on a fact checking site for the name, company, organization, story, or publisher. Or Google it!
  • Learn about the expertise, education, and/or the agenda of the producer of the information.

two hands holding a shield with a check mark in it FIND BETTER COVERAGE:

  • If the checking the source brings you to a questionable place, try looking in other, more reliable sources for similar information.
  • Look beyond the first few results.
  • Check in at least 3 different places.
  • If the information shows up in several reliable places, it is very likely accurate.

undefinedTRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES & MEDIA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTENT & CONTEXT:

  • Trace the content back to the original source.
  • Check the full context of the information -- was something left out or not included? 
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