The libraries recently held a workshop on how to recognize fake news which generated interesting discussions amongst attendees. As a follow up, we decided to share top tools and resources for fighting the spread of fake news and for understanding why we fall prey to fake news.

Debunking and Fact-Checking Sites

Check out these sites that report on internet hoaxes and fact-check news stories:

News Aggregator Apps

We polled the library staff members for recommendations on their favorite news agreggator apps. Here is what they had to say:

Longform – According to Science Librarian Jennifer Sullivan, “Longform is for the reader who wants a break from the shallow, click-baity coverage of news that we’ve become so accustomed to. This app offers thoughtful, investigative articles on a wide range of topics from over 50 periodicals. Curate your own list of periodicals and journalists that you want to keep up with, or read through the Editors’ Picks for news and stories that you won’t find in your Facebook feed. Either way, spending time in this app can easily make you the most interesting person in the room. Free, easy to use, well worth a look.”

Flipboard – Joan Gosnell, University Archivist, likes to curate her news using Flipboard where she finds the ability to personalize the content as she states, “It can be as balanced or non-balanced as a person wants,” adding that she selects both right-leaning and left-leaning to find a balanced perspective. She also uses Flipboard to follow both news and non-news interests and to also sources that she would not normally follow.

SmartNews – Jonathan McMichael, User Experience Librarian, chooses SmartNews because it allows him to read news sources he would not otherwise encounter.  He appreciates the features which allow users to create custom feeds, but also appreciates that the app doesn’t customize feeds based on clicking which keeps users from inadvertently falling into a filter bubble. Downsides of the app include the lack of filters for fake news, so users will need to have some information literacy skills to discern the difference.

Feedly –  Elisa Welder, Fondren’s Assistant Circulation Manager, recommends Feedly because it “is a super easy-to-use RSS reader.” She appreciates the ability to divide everything into categories which she browse one at a time or all at once. Feedly also has a great “save for later” option which allows her to save interesting articles for when she has more time or save something that she will want to reference in the future.

Why Do We Fall for Fake News?

This article won’t change your mind explores why we stick to our beliefs despite insufficient evidence.

6 in 10 of you will share this link without reading it reports on a study on the habit of sharing without reading.

This Is Not Fake News (but Don’t Go by the Headline) explores media literacy in higher education.

Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election, a study out of Stanford, explores the economics of fake news and its consumption in the last election, asking the question of whether fake news possibly changed election results.

Cognitive and Interpersonal Features of Intellectual Humility is a study on the personality trait of intellectual humility and its relationship to the recognition of the strength of persuasive arguments.

Future Workshops

Finding Balanced News in a Biased World, Tuesday, April 25th at 4:00 pm 

We will explore the characteristics of good sources of news, and how news stories might be biased through language, coverage, and sourcing. Come discuss aspects of bias that you see in our media, and learn about resources that will help you find balanced news coverage.

Decoding Numbers in the News, Thursday, April 27th at 4:00 pm 

We will discuss how statistics can be manipulated and misrepresented in the news and in social media. Participants will gain practical ways to see the truth behind the numbers.

Register for these workshops and others at

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