I used to believe the stories I was being told or the ones I read on the web. I did not use to doubt things since my basic assumption was that people do tell the truth and a minority of them lie. This innocent approach had of course changed after being on the web for one or two years. I realized that some people had extremely weird motivations to make up stories and push other people to believe them. So my first assumptions had dramatically changed. I now assume that what I read is not correct till it is found to be correct. I am not satisfied with this approach because doubting everything makes me not feel comfortable and verifying the news was such an exhaustive and time consuming process to the extent that I sometimes preferred not to believe the stuff I read than spending too much time in deciding whether it tends to be true or not. The article “Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About it” by Mike Caulfield, The author introduces a nice method for verifying the news, the method is so practical. Its steps are finely arranged so that the decision of whether the news tends to be true or not can be taken in each step. The method is named the “Four Moves” since it is composed of four steps. The first is to check whether the news is covered by a reputable source or not. If it is, then there is a higher probability that the news is correct. The second step is to follow the links of the news in case of not finding a reputable source covering it. If this attempt links to the original source reporting the story and this source seems to be credible, then the probability of the correctness of the story is higher. Thirdly, if the credibility of the original source is hard to detected, then one must resort to reading the source laterally in attempt to use the information around the source such as it agenda or expertise to determine its credibility. The last step is to circle back and research using different terms with the information we had about the source so far.
To know a limited amount of true information beside a systematic practical way of verifying information is better than having too much mixed information. The method introduced by the author is pretty much interesting and I am planning to use it.
Engage MOOC, Week III: https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:DavidsonX+DavNowX_Polarization+1T2018/courseware/6868decdedc248b29f440c4ed39d58c2/78366ace9c9647b1bf338662b22440cb/1?activate_block_id=block-v1%3ADavidsonX%2BDavNowX_Polarization%2B1T2018%2Btype%40vertical%2Bblock%4059f9a7e0926e48e5a22d71427e981df7