Most of us turn to online sources for news, whether it’s reading a newspaper online or sharing a news story with our friends and family. But news stories are one of the hardest things to verify: sometimes early reports that turn out not to be true still circulate on social media and people may spread false reports for political or commercial reasons, or just for “fun.”

“Be skeptical, not cynical.” Lori Robertson, managing editor of Factcheck.org

The changes in how news is consumed (and produced) have also made it harder to verify if a particular news item is accurate – and made it easier for misinformation to be spread, either intentionally or unintentionally.

If a news consumer reads a headline from The Globe and Mail while searching Google News, is the story from Google or The Globe? What about if a friend posts the story on Facebook; is the story from the friend, Facebook, or The Globe? How can the complexities of what is meant by “source” in a converged news environment be accounted for?[1]

Ethics of Sharing Information Online

Thanks to the internet, today we’re not just consumers of news but broadcasters as well – and our friends and families are counting on us to only share accurate, reliable information.

News you can use

Online news is one of the hardest things to verify. Sometimes early reports that turn out not to be true still circulate on the Internet, and people may spread false reports for commercial or malicious reasons, or even just for “fun.”

This public awareness program, created in partnership between MediaSmarts and the Facebook Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, focuses on authentication of online information.

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