Masks have been a contentious and complicated issue throughout this pandemic. So many conflicting reports have come out about which masks are most effective, including debates about whether they're even effective at all. And that's before we even consider the political debates around masks and which states and local municipalities enforce mask wearing in public. This can make consuming news about masks very confusing and difficult.
If you have doubts about a news article or piece of information, it can be helpful to trace claims, images, and quotes back to the original context in which they were made. This can help you determine not only whether it is derived from a reliable source, but also its original purpose. First, check the date. Is the information being described recent, or is it being taken out of context? Double-check to make sure the people or organizations cited as sources in the story truly made the claims. Lastly, examine the claims in their original context to make sure they have not been misrepresented.
If you want to do a deep dive, check out Sifting Through the Coronavirus Pandemic from digital information literacy expert Mike Caulfield. This week, we're focusing on Tracing Claims, Quotes and Media to the Original Context.
You've completed the COVID-19 Misinformation Challenge! It's been a delight to spend the past four weeks with you. We hope you found these activities useful and thought-provoking. Keep in touch!