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Parents' Guide to

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Clarifying sections, ratings would help convey crucial info. Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

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This Snopes-like site analyzes news items to determine if they're accurate or not -- or somewhere in-between, but could use a bit more clarification itself to help its readers. Typically, tries to demystify outrageous claims and propaganda-based news items that have been circulated on social media, as an email forward, on questionable websites, or through other venues. Although the length and depth of the analyses can vary, generally, they offer at least some valid insight into why a statement is correct or not.

The site navigation seems to be a bit redundant -- political items and fake news items are listed in a drop-down menu under the Fact Checks heading on each page, for instance, and also as separate headings at the top of the page. Given the site's logo proclaims it has been seeking truth and exposing fiction since 1999, you'd expect more content to be in some sections. But numerous items appear repeatedly in more than one, and some sections don't contain many posts, such as the Identifying Fake News section, which lists just three items. There are actually more than 400 pages of posts to read, but the way the sections are listed can initially make it look like less. Items addressing entertainment topics and how journalists can prevent fake news seem out of place on the site as a result. In addition, the ratings in posts don't link to a description of what each one means. If kids see an item is marked with a mixed rating, they'll have to go to the site's About section and click through to a separate ratings page for any information, and the descriptions on that page seem to be outdated. They list terms like Reported to be Truth! and Unproven!, instead of the true, mixed, and other ratings used in items on the site -- which can potentially cause even more confusion. But if you can look past the site confusion and odd navigation issues, you'll find a site trying to provide crucial info to users eager to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Website Details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading : reading, reading comprehension, text analysis, using supporting evidence, Social Studies : cultural understanding, events, global awareness, government, history, power structures, the economy
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : analyzing evidence, deduction, investigation, logic, part-whole relationships, thinking critically, Self-Direction : personal growth
  • Genre: Educational
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: August 29, 2019

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