By Reid Goldsborough
This election season, the issue of truth versus falsity has been taken to new heights - or, perhaps, depths. The online world also has a history of misinformation, disinformation, urban myths, rumors, conspiracy theories, and deception. But just as the internet is a fount of falsehood, it's also a source of tools for verifying statements and alleged facts. Some helpful sites include:
Keep in mind, anybody can play expert online, and many do. You frequently see, for instance, lay people playing lawyer, offering legal opinions about complicated subjects and advising others on what's legal and what's not when it's clear all they've done is Googled to find a statute or court case. Then there are the outright lies and similar statements that show no regard for the truth or falsity of the matter, only the agendas and biases of those behind them.
As a reader, it's good to be skeptical, not cynical, about information you come across and don't believe everything you read.
In asking yourself "Is it true?" also ask:
Whether online or off, the byword is, and likely always will remain, caveat lector: Let the reader beware.