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COVID-19 Research

This guide is designed to provide public health and research information on Coronavirus.

Try to Debunk a COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

Below are a couple of theories that have been floating around the internet during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Is there any truth to any of these or others? Choose one of the theories below or choose your own and answer the questions below.

  1. COVID-19 was caused by 5G
  2. COVID-19 is no worse than the flu
  3. Masks do not prevent COVID-19
  4. COVID-19 can be cured by herd immunity

COVID-19 Fact-Checking and Health Resources

COVID Misinformation by Ryerson University

MythBusters: COVID-19 edition by WHO (World Health Organization)

The Coronavirus Collection: Fact-Checking COVID-19 by SNOPES

FactCheck.org : Coronavirus Archives

Coronavirus (COVID-19) by the CDC

COVID-19 Toolkit for General Public by the CDC

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)  by Medline through the National Institutes of Health U.S. National Library of Medicine

COVID-19 Resources: Studies, Research, etc. from the National Library of Medicine

COVID-19 Articles Related to Misinformation

Evaluating False News & Information from the Mississippi State University Library

Misinformation Beyond "Fake News" from the Manchester Community College Library 

Q&A with Donald Barclay on Fake News & COVID-19 from the University of California, Merced 

C.R.A.P. Test to Separate Real Information from Fake News from the University of Buffalo 

News Outlets Bias Chart: For General Awareness, Not Fact

News Media Bias Chart

Fake News - Misinformation

What makes a news story fake?

  1. You can't verify its claims
  2. Fake news appeals to emotion
  3. Authors usually aren't experts
  4. It can't be found anywhere else
  5. Fake news comes from fake site

What to look for and question:

1. Check Credentials. Is the author/organization/owner in the field? Do they currently work in that field? Check LinkedIn, Google, etc. to see if it makes sense for this author, or organization, to be speaking about this topic.

2. Look for Bias. Does the piece (blog, article, etc.) lean toward one point of view? Skew left or right relative to political views? Does the piece seem to be selling an idea or product to you?

3. Check the Sources. Do they cite sources or provide evidence? Can you link to them or find them? If you can't find sources, explore other places that talk about the topic so you can get a feel for other perspectives, evidence, etc.

4. Be a Critical Judge. If it seems too good to be true, or too weird, or reactionary, then it very well may be.

RESIST Counter Disinformation Toolkit - This toolkit will help support the dissemination of reliable, truthful information

How to spot fake news image:

Fact Check Links

LinkedIn -  A professional networking website where you can look up the authors of articles and books to see if they're credible.

FactCheck - A product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, this site is terrific for checking up on political claims.

Politifact -The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact researches the claims of politicians and checks their accuracy.

Snopes.com - One of the oldest debunking sites on the Internet, Snopes.com focuses on urban legends, news stories and memes. the also cite their sources at the end of each debunking.

Lead Stories -Established in 2015, Lead Stories intentionally seeks out viral stories using software and debunks them as fast as possible.

Hoax-Slayer -  Similar to Snopes but tighter in scope, Hoax-Slayer focuses on email hoaxes, identity theft scams and spam.

The Washington Post Fact-Checker - While focused primarily on political facts, it covers specific claims in-depth and with plenty of cross-referencing.

Veracity (iPhone app) - Double check image sources and see where they came from.

Also, while it's not a direct link, the New York times has a "Fact Check of the Day" feature that analyzes a meme, tweet or other object and confirms or debunks it using reporting, fact finding and other tools.  It's a fascinating look into the newsroom of the Times.