Blog Post

Fact-Checking Toolkit - A resource for the Community Integration Network

By: Marco Campana
November 6, 2021

This bilingual Fact-Checking Toolkit (English & French) was created by Susana Mas in collaboration with the Catholic Centre for Immigrants for the wider Community Integration Network which supports newcomers. The Toolkit was created to help people navigate mis - and disinformation online.

It includes:

  1. Tips to verify claims, sources, images and videos online like a Reverse Image Search
  2. Go-to multilingual, fact-checking sources!
  3. Additional resources.

Why should you be interested in this? Because of Susana, really. She's a journalist, news and digital literacy trainer who has hosted fact-checking workshops in collaboration with the Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre, Journalists for Human Rights in partnership with CIVIX, and New Canadian Media. She also runs Verifiably, a free service where you can sign up to receive text messages with COVID-19 news and tips to help you navigate mis/disinformation online. You can text back with comments and questions in English, French or Spanish.

I've been a subscriber since she launched it and have found it to be a very useful and timely source of authoritative and vetted information during these trying times...

The toolkit is another great resource that she has created and shared.

Here is a summary from the toolkit:

In this digital age, it’s important that we think critically about the information that we see online. Social media platforms, for instance, have become a major source of news but the algorithms that drive them were designed to maximize engagement. The algorithms show us sensational content that plays on our emotions to keep us
engaged as long as possible while the platforms sell ads and collect data about us. This also happens on some online websites.

This has the effect of giving false and misleading information a head start making it increasingly difficult to sort fact from fiction online. Understanding the role of algorithms in curating online content and the connection between our information environment and democracy is key to developing critical thinking skills in the digital age.

Furthermore, our digital ecosystem is polluted with mis – and disinformation. That is to say, false and misleading information such as conspiracy theories, hoaxes, memes, even images and videos taken out of context.

What is Mis- and Dis-information?

Misinformation is information that is unintentionally false and misleading, and spread unknowingly. An example of this is when family and friends send us information that is intended to warn us about something they think is important but it is, in fact, not true.

Disinformation is information that is deliberately false and misleading, and spread for political gain, to profit or to discredit. This is not always known right away and will often take journalists, fact-checkers, and/or researchers some time to investigate.

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