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Доверяй, но проверяй

Thursday, June 02, 2011
My friend Jake Ortman posted on his blog an article that indicated that PBS is going to have commercial breaks. I read the link Jake posted and wanted to tweet my disappointment at the turn of events. But, rather than just copying and pasting the link, I took a moment to verify the news.

I trust Jake and, since he studied journalism, know that he's not going to just repeat something he heard on the internet. Still, I'm not that familiar with The Atlantic Wire, so I looked on the PBS website. Not finding anything there, I spent 10 seconds Googling the news to find if anyone else was running the story. I found it at the New York Times. The Atlantic Wire article referenced an interview that the PBS chief gave to the New York Times, so I considered this a closer source.

So, when I put my post up on Twitter, it linked to the New York Times article, which is a source I trust. This process didn't take very long.

But, like Arlo Guthrie, I didn't come to tell to you about PBS or The New York Times. I came to talk about fact checking.

You see, fact checking is what nobody seems to do before forwarding on a chain letter. I can't tell you how many emails I get that allege some ridiculous fact, then urge me to pass it on. They might even claim their preposterous fact was, in fact, fact-checked. Taking a few seconds to try to find independent confirmation, however, yields quickly that the fact, is in fact, false.

What I'm trying to say is that, next time you get an email claiming that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery or that some actor just died falling off a cliff, take a few seconds to fact check. If it's actually true, go ahead and send it on. When it doubt, however, give the truth a chance to put its boots on.


Anonymous chris broyer said...

Are there any particular sites you recommend for fact checking?

6:24 AM, June 03, 2011  

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