For those who can’t distinguish fact from clever fiction, however, it can be bewildering and misleading, a fun-house mirror of the world. In a society where the well-informed have no more say in the voting booth than the un- and misinformed, news and information literacy has become a necessary skill for citizens.
So here’s a tool for vetting news and information in the digital age. The “SMELL” test won’t make you foolproof, but it can help you become a savvy information detective. Apply it to any content purporting to be factual from any source — face-to-face, to Facebook, to Fox, the New York Times, and online “to infinity and beyond.” On some major issues, fact-checking websites will sniff out bias for you, e.g., Factcheck, Politifact, and Snopes. But most of the time, you’re on your own.
INTRODUCING THE SMELL TEST
S stands for Source. Who is providing the information?
M is for Motivation. Why are they telling me this?
E represents Evidence. What evidence is provided for generalizations?
L is for Logic. Do the facts logically compel the conclusions?
L is for Left out. What’s missing that might change our interpretation of the information?
( PBS, )
Sent from my iCloud Al Smith