Checkmate. (Check Your Sources, Mate) – Topic 2


The mountains are yearning. (1)

We live in a world where information is available 24/7. Information can be obtained through learning networks, online and physical resources (FutureLearn, 2017). However, the challenge lies in constructing a consistent method for analysing authenticity of information.

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Click on Image to View Video (Created by Chloe Cheung Using PowToon)

Media Literacy

I believe media literacy is significant to our learning, especially when we need to practice the different techniques required to analyse and process information (Thoman & Jolls, 2008).

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Information That Is Searched On the Internet By A Range of Users (Ofcom, 2017)

The rise in ‘fake news’ can be alarming, especially when individuals cannot distinguish genuine information from fabricated content. From my experience, I immediately know that sites like The Onion are satirical. Therefore, I take information with a pinch of salt. However, individuals may misinterpret the information, as it sounds realistic (Fife, 2016).

Design Thinking
Created By Chloe Cheung Using Canva

Fake News 

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Created By Chloe Cheung Using Venngage

Compare and Contrast

Arguably, media and information literacy are similar. Expanding our network is useful for enhancing knowledge. However, online presence can be dangerous. Users may forge identities to ‘catfish’, tricking individuals to believe their fake profile (Seidman, 2014).

To prevent my personal information being used for ‘fake profiling’, my network connections on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are with trusted peers. Otherwise, individuals may not be able to distinguish the ‘real’ me and the reliability of my information.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ultimately, literacy skills depends on digital differences. I believe age is a setback. The ‘Net Generation’ have more experience on the Web. Therefore, their ability to identify fake information should be better compared to the older generation (Jones et al, 2010).

How to Find Trustworthy Sources?

Authenticity of information can be guaranteed using online tools. Through the MOOC, I learnt a variety of useful methods.

Created By Chloe Cheung Using Canva


‘Checkmate’. Not in chess terms, but ‘check, mate’. Check the sources thoroughly. Discussions with my peers on the MOOC has highlighted the importance of analysing sources. This is a learning curve individuals should not forget.

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Participation in the MOOC, Explaining My Own Experience With Online Tools
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Discussion on How To Analyse a Fake News Article

Word Count: 304


FutureLearn. (2017). Information Literacy – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Online Information – Reliability. (2018). Directed by C. Cheung. United Kingdom: PowToon. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018]

FutureLearn. (2017). Media Literacy – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. (2000). [online] Chicago: American Library Association, pp.2-15. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Thoman, E. and Jolls, T., 2008. Literacy for the 21st Century: An Overview and Orientation Guide to Media Literacy Education. Theory CML MedicaLit Kit. Center for Media Literacy. Avaialable at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Ofcom (2017). Adults’ media use and attitudes. [online] Ofcom, p.99. Available at: [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].

Fife, J., 2016. Peeling The Onion: Satire and the Complexity of Audience Response. Rhetoric Review35(4), pp.322-334. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Trevisan, F. (2018). In Italy, fake news helps populists and far-right triumph. The Conversation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Fox, S., & Duggan, M. (2013). Health online 2013. Available at: http://www.pewinternet. org/2013/01/15/health-online-2013/ [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Lober WB., & Flowers JL. Consumer empowerment in health care amid the Internet and social media. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2011 Aug;27(3):169–82. DOI: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Dalmer, N.K., 2017. Questioning reliability assessments of health information on social media. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA105(1), p.61. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Ibrahim, I. (2018). Fake news’ hurts businesses and economy, say trade groups. Yahoo News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Quinn, B. (2017). Russia is biggest culprit of spreading fake news, says survey of UK social media users. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Koohikamali, M. and Sidorova, A., 2017. Information Re-Sharing on Social Network Sites in the Age of Fake News. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline20, pp.215-235. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Seidman, G. (2014). Can You Really Trust the People You Meet Online?. Psychology Today. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].

Jones, C., Ramanau, R., Cross, S. and Healing, G. (2010). Net generation or Digital Natives: Is there a distinct new generation entering university?. Computers & Education, [online] 54(3), pp.722-732. Available at: [Accessed 7 Mar. 2018].




13 thoughts on “Checkmate. (Check Your Sources, Mate) – Topic 2

  1. Hi Chloe,

    Really great article and I love how many graphics you used to demonstrate the idea of fake news and to illustrate how to find good sources!

    You mention a lot about media literacy but how do you propose we tackle data literacy? Even some of the best sources may have misleading data or they may be unreliable or even out of date. How do you think this should be dealt with, for scholars in particular? This article from the innovation enterprise suggests some ways in which we can make data literacy more common:

    Keep it up!


    1. Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for reading!

      Data literacy can be tackled in a variety of ways. In an organisation, external experts can be hired to analyse data trends, concluding whether sources are reliable ( Furthermore, training can be carried out. Misleading data can be confusing to the reader, therefore scaling and labels must be concise. I found this interesting article on techniques to improve visualisations (

      The article you linked was a good read. I found the shift of focus to analytic apps an interesting point. It can provide context to users in customised ways. However, this surely raises issues on data mining as data evolves ( How will such techniques detect authenticity of information?



  2. Hi Chloe
    I was interested in your point of maintaining your profiles in access of close peers, do you think this has resulted in you being part of a filter bubble?

    I enjoyed the comparisons you made on the impact on different aspects of the population. Out of all the factors, which of these do you find to have the greatest?

    I think the effect that fake news has on politics is in the lead. From reading around I found that in the US presidential elections ‘14% of American adults viewed social media as their most important source of election news’ – This, to me is quite frightening because it shows they are potentially being caught up in an echo chamber and being fed at least one of the 115 Pro Trump false headlines that were produced.. do you think this could have affected the outcome of the elections as a result?

    Allcott, H. and Gentzkow, M. (2018). Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), pp.211–236.


    1. Hi Megan,

      I never thought of my profiling from a filter bubble perspective! Though I agree on your point, as my content is restricted to peers only. Also, platforms such as Facebook are known to ‘create’ filter bubbles through its algorithms ( However, by maintaining different platforms, does this mean we have several bubbles? Or just one big bubble through different sources?

      I definitely find that the health impact is most significant, especially when it concerns one’s wellbeing. Not only the mental impact, but potentially economical if hoaxes/scams are involved. What do you think?

      Moreover, I do think fake news affected the election outcome. Personalised feeds may display bad news on one candidate, whilst praising the other ( Is it possible to change these algorithms?



      1. I would argue that this creates a number of different filter bubbles because not all of the same groups of people that you interact with online are the same, one person extra or absent may add opinions which may change an axis that discussion continues in.
        I am defiantly in agreement with you when it comes to the mental health side of things:

        This is an interesting article which discusses the effect of reading about other people stress, contributes to our own. Therefore I reckon it depends on the type of people that you interact with over social media on which it actually affects mental health.

        Another aspect of social media that may effect the health of those using it is the result of bullying that may take place over messages etc.

        Is it possible to change algorithms? not yet
        Is it possible to avoid algorithms? yes
        DuckduckGo is just one of many search engines that are available for free usage; and doesn’t trace every step we take. you should have a look!


      2. Hi Megan,

        Thanks for replying!

        It is shocking how much online platforms can affect our mental health, especially when fake information is distributed. The studies mentioned in the article are eye-opening, as I never considered factors such as envy and esteem to be affected in that way. I agree with you that it depends on the type of people you interact with online. Peers can influence your actions and decision making, creating the bandwagon effect ( Therefore, this may lead to believing in fake news!

        Duckduckgo is a good recommendation for untraceable activity! I have used it in my labs before, and found it very useful. But if it was not for my degree, I would not have known about it. Do you think users are aware of such tools, which they can use to prevent filter bubbles?



  3. Hi Chloe,

    Your article was really engaging with the use of attractive graphics. The numerous methods to check for the authenticity and accuracy of information online mentioned in your article are effective to quite an extent. One of the methods mentioned by you are creating and checking for legitimate profiles online and ensuring it aligns with your real and actual personality.

    However, I have noticed this ever since I started using the Internet that, users online do not necessarily use the internet to share their real selves. They use it to portray an image that they find desirable and attractive. People increasingly use the internet for purposes like gaming, blogging and discussion forums to either reflect their true selves and share it with the rest of the world or modify their personal attributes to fit in or test unfamiliar waters.

    This happens to such an extent that even modified profiles seem extremely authentic and they are. Just because they are modified by an individual themselves does not necessarily mean it is fake. Here read this:
    This also brings in other dangers like the ones mentioned in this link:

    How do you propose we deal with this issue?



    1. Hi Lakshay,

      Thanks for your comment!

      The articles you recommended were an interesting read. I never realised users could become ‘obsessed’ with profiling. It is scary how individuals become immersed in the virtual world, unwilling to to distinguish the truth from the fake reality. Questioning the authenticity of online profiles is crucial. From chat rooms to online dating, individuals do not know what they are facing. Sometimes, physical and mental effort can be exhausted (

      Identifying fake news is becoming a necessity for online users, as it can be difficult to authenticate information. For example, educational games are provided to enhance awareness ( Similar techniques could be used to identify profile authenticity, especially with the younger generation. Do you agree?



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  7. Hi Chloe!

    I really enjoyed this blog and it was one of my favourites I read on the topic – mostly due to the information given about how fake news can affect different aspects of life. I found this really interesting! Would you say that certain topics should be monitored more closely than others? For example, fake health information can really be detrimental and have serious affects therefore would you argue that something should be done about this? If so, do you have any suggestions?! I look forward to hear from you!



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