Although titled Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, Michael Caulfield’s book is in fact for all of us. That’s why he subtitled the book as also being for “other people who care about facts.” As he writes, the web “is both the largest propaganda machine ever created and the most amazing fact-checking tool ever invented.”

Most efforts at teaching web literacy have focused, the Washington State University staff member writes, on time-consuming critical thinking and on producing and publishing things on the web. While both are valuable skills, they fail to address the much more urgent need: how to evaluate the information we are presented with in our social media feeds. Is that information true, false, or a biased hybrid of fact and propaganda?

The web, Caulfield writes, “gives us many… strategies and tactics and tools, which, properly used, can get students closer to the truth of a statement or image within seconds.” But, “for some reason we have decided not to teach students these specific techniques.”

Caulfield’s short field guide to fact checking is an attempt to remedy that situation. In addition to quick and easy-to-use strategies for determining the factuality of a claim we see on the web or social media, he offers the following list of sites “generally regarded as reputable fact-checking organizations focused on U.S. national news:”


Read more about fake news inTruth or consequences.”