How to Know the Difference
By: Mark Deutsch
On November 28, there was a fake news workshop hosted in the library for those who needed clue credits or had an English 111 requirement.
The librarian hosting the workshop was Mark Aaron Polger, who presented an entertaining class to those participating.
Polger used several fake news websites as examples for what he called the C.R.A.P. test.
However, the class wasn’t just about the C.R.A.P. test, fake news, or how to discover whether a news website is biased.
Mark Aaron Polger said, “The fake news class is a discussion about what fake news is instead of bias”.
Polger explained the C.R.A.P. test in full throughout the discussion.
C.R.A.P. stands for Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View.
This test is used to verify whether a news website is legitimate or false.
Currency isn’t the money type of currency that we all carry around. It’s about how relevant it is or if the info has a date on it. This is an important factor when judging an article for yourself or for a research paper.
Reliability is another necessary factor when using the C.R.A.P. test on a website.
Reliability in this case means checking to see, whether the article is fact based or opinion based. It is also important to check to see if there’s any cited sources listed, since these are instrumental to backing up an article.
Authority is the author on the C.R.A.P. test and deals with their credentials and expertise. If the author of the article doesn’t list their full name, or any name at all then don’t read that article.
Also, check the site’s sponsor since the sponsor could be controlling the information, leading to doctored articles.
Purpose or point of view is the last letter of the C.R.A.P. test, but isn’t any less important than the others.
The purpose of most fake sites is to make money or it’s a joke to the creators.
Biased articles are different than fakes.
Bias means to be in favor of or against something, to be succinct. It’s someone’s personal opinion, and as such, isn’t conforming to newspaper standards.
Newspapers have to be completely factual and devoid of human emotion, which is impossible.
Editorials are the opinion of the whole news department and are entitled to their own opinion.
This point of view is generally aimed at one solitary issue and not multiple ones. This is one of the acceptable levels of bias for a newspaper.
Then there’s the opinion-editorial which showcases a writer’s personal opinion.
Satire or sarcasm, as it’s more commonly known, may be used in this type of article.
The C.R.A.P. test was tested live in front of the entire class on several already proven fake websites.
One of them was the Manhattan Airport Project (M.A.P.) and it failed the test spectacularly, even though it looked official.
When asked about any future fake news workshops, Mark Aaron Polger stated there will not be any as of now.
However, there are many other fun and exciting workshops that are worth checking out. Until then, watch out for fake news and articles that are full of crap.