Judging content credibility
Just because you see it online doesn’t mean it’s true. Teach your family to view all content critically so they can identify fact from fake online. Learn how to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, and how to verify information you find online.
Advice from our partners
- Be a skeptic. Even if it’s a “cool” or professional website, it may not have accurate information. Before you believe the information posted, ask yourself what’s the point of view of the site? And what opinions or ideas are missing?
- Investigate the source. Find out who published the information and ask yourself if they are trustworthy.
- Always check the facts that you find. The best way to do this is to follow the “rule of 3”: compare 3 sources of information. Remember to include one source with an opposing viewpoint. To learn more, check out the lesson plan “Become an Online Sleuth” created by Google and iKeepSafe.
- Get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion. Conduct several searches on your topic on different websites, using different keywords. This provides a variety of perspectives that may differ -- and will allow you to evaluate the credibility of a site's offerings against each other. And go beyond your usual sites, like Wikipedia and About.
- Search strategically. Think critically about your online searches so they are effective and produce relevant results. Use multiple, specific, descriptive keywords. There’s a difference between searching for "hip hop" and searching for "hip hop for social justice."
- Pay attention to URL domains. The URL domain can be found at the end of a website address, and it tells people what kind of organization they are dealing with. Companies usually aim to sell products or services and display lots of ads, while organizations, educational institutions, and government entities usually aim to share knowledge and improve communities. (.com = company, .gov = government website, .edu = educational institution, .org = organization.)