When seeking information from the internet, always check who is behind a site by looking at what other web pages have to say about that site.


Professional fact-checkers assess information through a process called SIFT:

  1. Stop.

  2. Investigate the source—by looking at what other people have to say about that source.

  3. Find better coverage. (Go and look at another source.)

  4. Trace claims, quotes and media to the original context.

Key strategies are:

  • Stop overthinking what you see online. 

  • Resist spending hours reading web material that has nothing to do with your subject.

  • Avoid rabbit holes* as it is often counterproductive to spend time on a site that is not credible.

  • Use lateral reading (leave your current source and look at others).

  • Avoid information overload.

  • Understand that disinformation’s goal is to capture attention. 

  • Note the opportunity cost of giving attention to unverified sources.

  • Do a quick Google search and move on.

  • You can often make better decisions with less information—Analysis Paralysis.

  • Understand the context of information and decide credibility.

  • Watch for information that is accurate and correct being mixed up with information that is wrong.

  • Investigate sites by  using web sources  such as Media Bias

* Refers  to a bizarre, confusing, or nonsensical situation or environment, typically one from which it is difficult to extricate oneself  (Dictionary).  Comes from the book Alice in Wonderland, where Alice falls down a rabbit hole into a world which is bizarre and confusing.