Together with researchers at MIT, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Washington, we partnered with media organizations, libraries, public health workers, and the military to fight misinformation. Over the past year, this consortium has developed and piloted a series of tools to help people sort fact from fiction online. We call this new initiative Search Lit.
Tool #1: Short Documentary Video
In partnership with Retro Report, the award-winning documentary news organization, we made a short video that teaches a key strategy for finding credible information online: When in doubt, get off the page and turn to the broader Web. Use the Internet to check the Internet.
Tool #2: Online Game
In Bad Influence, an online game developed by the University of Washington’s Mike Caulfield, players compete to be hired as an assistant to an online influencer, vetting social media stories before the influencer posts them. For each item, players search online to evaluate the source and report back on how they made their choice. They win points for correct answers and lose points when they’re wrong. Along the way, players get tips about how to effectively evaluate sources.
Tool #3: Short Mobile Course
We began this initiative by carefully studying the online search practices of library patrons and found that most adults use their mobile devices to search. Realizing that search literacy looks different on mobile devices than on computers, we created a short online course to teach research-tested search strategies on mobile. The course features videos and interactive activities that can be completed individually or facilitated with a group.
Tool #4: Infographic
We distilled the key takeaways from the short mobile course into an infographic that can hang in libraries, medical offices, community centers, and other public spaces. It identifies best practices to use in online searches.