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Evaluating Information

How to evaluate information, from fabricated news to unreliable research

Technological Confirmation Bias

Technology allows us to find and access information in ever-increasing ways. A simple Google search today can uncover more data than a weeks worth of time spent in a library 40 years ago. However, simply having information is only a small part of becoming informed. 

How do we know we are getting accurate, complete and relevant information? Are there other sides to the issue that our searches are missing?

Search engines and social media help us find things that make us happy. When this comes to getting news, it means that your Facebook feeds and Google searches are retrieving information that you have sought out in the past. Simply put: if you click on links to liberal news but not conservative news, you'll see more liberal links and fewer conservative links in the future. Your news feed simply reflects what you were expecting or hoping to find - not necessarily what will give you a full picture of the topic.

Confirmation bias is the phenomenon that you are more likely to accept information that you already agree with or are prone to agree with. When your searching only pulls up information that you agree with or are expecting, you will be satisfied and not notice that you may not be getting the full picture.

Your searches are being tracked and echoed back to you

What is the 'filter bubble'?

Videos and Podcasts

Beware online "filter bubbles" | Eli Pariser - TED2011

Debating The Facebook Filter Bubble, With Mathew Ingram - TechDirt Podcast (2015)