Fake news must be one of the most commonly-coined phrases of the last couple of years. With an abundance of information available online, it’s increasingly difficult to determine what is accurate, and what is not. With fake news prolific, one group is working tirelessly to enable people to decipher clickbait and access reliable, trustworthy sources. Librarians are taking on fake news to ensure we know which headlines to believe.
The infographic below highlights the prevalence of fake news and the importance of librarians in stamping out unreliable sources and promoting media literacy and awareness.
Fake news stories usually fall into three categories: entirely made-up stories, over-embellished, deceptive headlines and satire. The trouble with fake news today is that it’s often packaged and presented in a way that makes the content seem real. With social media and 24-hour access to the Internet, fake news can spread in no time, and before you know it, millions of people could have a read a headline that is completely untrue. Three-quarters of Americans have been deceived by fake news headlines.
Librarians have a critical role to play in connecting people with reliable sources and accurate information, and libraries are curated spaces that provide a safety net away from fake news and social media adverts that promote sensationalist or misleading headlines. Librarians can assist people by pointing them in the direction of reliable, credible resources and help them to gain skills and knowledge that will enable them to tell the difference between real and fake news moving forward.
Infographic Produced By University of Southern California