According to a 2022 survey, one-third of Quebecers use social media as their main source for news. But the quality of information on the web can vary greatly.
This is even truer when web giants like Facebook and Google are blocking access to news sites. When information is interwoven with fake news, alternative facts, advertorials, and cock-and-bull theories, it can be hard to keep things straight.
So, how can you avoid falling into the trap of misinformation? Here are a few tips!
Go to primary sources
A source is where the information comes from. In other words, who wrote it, who’s publishing it, where, why?
Check source reliability
A reliable source offers fact-checked information. Take Luci, for example. Not only do we post up-to-date, science-based information, we also ensure it’s reviewed by our team of researchers and health care professionals. Nothing escapes the eagle eyes of our experts! The aim is to provide the most accurate information possible.
Who’s the author?
The quality of information also depends on who it comes from. The author’s credibility is determined by their reputation and expertise, of course, but also their intentions and interests.
Under Canada’s Competition Act, all advertisements must be identified as such, even on the web. If a social network account is promoting a product, check whether it mentions “advertising” in the keywords or “paid partnership” in the publication header. This gives a clear indication of the content provider’s intentions.
Validate information accuracy
Information is accurate and impartial when it can be verified by other trusted sources. Is your grandson turning to TikTok for health advice? Be sure to discuss the information gathered with your Luci advisor, who can help confirm whether it’s fact-checked or not.
Let’s be serious
Serious information is presented professionally and with great care. It is clear, well-structured, and error-free. Thought is given to the reading or listening experience. Sensationalism—in the form of shocking images or provocative texts—rarely offers enlightened content.
The term “clickbait” is used when the aim is to attract as many clicks as possible. The more clicks, the more ad revenue generated. Often, this is done with no regard for accuracy. You can recognize clickbait traps by their catchy headlines, designed specifically to lure you in.
Information must always be up to date in a constantly evolving field like scientific research.
Most web articles have a date, either in the article itself or in the search results. If an article is dated, you should verify that the information it contains is still relevant.
An interesting option for the more scientific-minded among you is Google Scholar—a search tool that provides results from various types of academic journals.