Remember the 2002 Star Wars film Attack of the Clones, when Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi tried to find information in the archives on the planet Kamino, but couldn’t? Later it was determined that the information had been deleted as a means for hiding the truth. Yes, disinformation can even affect galaxies far, far away. And it’s certainly an enormous problem here and now. All of the challenges we’ve been experiencing in relation to COVID, climate change and more are made more difficult by the prevalence of false narratives online, and our inability to navigate them. Disinformation undermines the credibility of actual experts and makes it next to impossible to come together to solve the enormous challenges we’re facing. It’s another form of pandemic in its insidious and seemingly endless infection of our online information systems.
However, you have experts to help you navigate the murky waters of online information – your faculty librarians! And, since it’s National News Literacy Week, it’s the perfect time to let you know we’ve carefully curated a selection of resources to help you understand why we’re susceptible to misleading information and how to get past those vulnerabilities in our Disinformation Debunking guide. Also, all week we’ll be spotlighting other excellent weapons on our social media sites to help you sidestep social media shams, see through doctored or misused photos, and fact check websites to discover just who’s behind them. We’re here if you have any questions, want to have a one-on-one consult, or schedule instruction for one of your classes: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. And save the date for our Misinformation Day Info Fair from 11:30am-1:00pm on Thursday, March 17th. May the facts be with you!
Elizabeth (Beth) Ramsey
Associate Professor, Librarian