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IF I APPLY - a source evaluation tool: WVLA 2022

This guide serves as a landing page for all things IF I APPLY. You will find files, lesson plans, publications, citations, praise and more. IF I APPLY © 2016 by Eryn Roles, Sabrina Thomas, Kathleen Phillips is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Navigating Information Literacy During a Pandemic/Political Adversity: Orienting Our Students and Ourselves

Eryn Roles, Research and Instruction Librarian, Marshall University

Sabrina Thomas, Head of Research and Instruction Services, Marshall University 

After years of political turmoil and a few pandemics, librarians continue to understand that mis- and disinformation are alive and well. Research and Instruction librarians Eryn Roles and Sabrina Thomas’s research reveals many threats, such as cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, lack of critical thinking skills, and just plain hard-headedness, which increasingly weakens our democracy. Propaganda, digital manipulation, and sensationalism in media are adversaries of information literacy, especially in a post-pandemic political landscape. The informed citizen is paramount for a healthy democracy, and providing information literacy instruction assists in supporting students and faculty with a critical mindset, good judgment, and courage. Overcoming unhealthy information-seeking patterns is challenging, and librarians are at the forefront of helping students develop these necessary information literacy skills. This session will provide a thoughtful space for questions and discussion about best practices within the classroom. Eryn and Sabrina will also provide a resource list to continue to address the issues surrounding mis- and disinformation. This list will continue to be updated, edited, and available for further contributions.

Definitions of mis- and disinformation and Fake News

Misinformation - "information that is false, but not created with the intention of causing harm,”

Disinformation - “false and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization or country.”

Fake News - "could be understood as a type of disinformation, or “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting"

Definitions taken from First Draft News*



Deepfakes are a new and particularly challenging type of audio, video, or image disinformation, generally used in malicious ways. They have the potential to spread false words and actions to a global audience rapidly and can be extremely difficult to distinguish from real content. 

What are deepfakes? Quoting Merriam-Webster, "The term deepfake is typically used to refer to a video that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original video with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that makes the video look authentic." 

Suggested readings to understand deepfake technology: 

Test yourself and learn to spot deepfake photos: