Study: Historians Easily Fooled by Fake News

Source: Study: Historians Easily Fooled by Fake News

“Fact-checkers quickly determined the reliability of an organization by taking a quick scan of its website before opening new browser tabs to determine the organization’s reputation from other sources. However, historians and students focused on just the information they found on the organization’s webpage. By reading vertically, rather than laterally, these groups were frequently taken in by unreliable indicators such as professional-looking logos and scholarly references.”

This is interesting. Many people try to figure out how reliable information is by consulting the same information (“However, historians and students focused on just the information they found on the organization’s webpage.”)

Admittedly, it is a small sample (10 Ph.D. historians, 10 professional fact checkers, and 25 Stanford University undergraduates) but interesting nevertheless. The emphasis of the report is on lateral vs. vertical reading, which means placing information in context vs. staying within the publication.

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