In today's world of information overload, "fake news," and propaganda, it is important to critically evaluate the information used in our lives for living, learning, and decision making.
But how can you evaluate the credibility of the information you find/view?
The SIFT & CRAP Method gives you valuable skills to discern information in doing so you can learn to become your own filter.
The SIFT method by Mike Caul (digital information literacy expert at Washington State University) provides four quick moves you can do when evaluating an online source.
The CRAP Test is a helpful tool to use when deciding if a source is high-quality and credible.
CRAP stands for Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose. These are four areas to consider when evaluating any source.
THE CRAP IN SIFT
Always apply CRAP when you get to the “I” in SIFT. Why? CRAP works best at the INVESTIGATE stage of SIFT
HOW DOES IT WORK:
Find a website or sources information and then use the steps below.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND CONSIDER WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT AND HOW YOU’RE FEELING.
Do you know the website or source of information? Start with a plan.
Ask yourself if you are certain the information is true.
Don’t re-post, use, or share until you verify
INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE & APPLY THE CRAP TEST:
Check dates (Is it Current?) – reposting old news stories doesn’t mean they’re relevant to current events.
Is it Reliable information? Try looking at a fact-checking site for the name, company, organisation, journal article, or publisher.
Look at the source. Who created the information?
Do they have the right Authority to create that information? Learn about the expertise, education, and/or the agenda of the author of the information?
What is their Purpose in creating the information?
FIND BETTER COVERAGE…
LOOK FOR OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON THE SAME SUBJECT
Looking for information that comes from different sources – books, journal articles, trusted websites, databases and other fact-checking sites. The list below provides some key political fact-checking sites as well as the more generalised fact-checking site, Snopes.com
A product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, this site if excellent for checking up on political claims.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact researches the claims of politicians and checks their accuracy.
One of the oldest debunking sites on the internet, Snopes.com focuses on urban legends, news stories and memes (and reference their sources).
This site provides articles and an assessment of political bias, from the political left to the right.
QUOTES AND MEDIA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT.
What happened before or after the story/photo/video was clipped? Was the information mentioned in a news story accurately reported? Identify the original source so you can determine if the version you have is accurate.