Verify This!

Developing a strategy for judging and verifying information in the age of "alternative facts."

0.0 Introduction

Verification, defined by Oxford English Dictionaries “The process of establishing the truth, accuracy, or validity of something,” has been an abiding concern of humankind for a long time. The 17th century legal system conducted witch tests, 19th century fiction dreamed up Pinocchio’s lie-detecting nose, and psychologists and criminologists today continue to tweak polygraph machines. These examples are all either contested or, in Pinocchio’s case, completely fanciful, which reveals something else about verification: we may have always wanted the truth, but it’s never been easy to find.

The Internet has increased the amount of potential truths or falsehoods that the average Joe has to sort through, making “fake news” the buzzword of 2017. But the Internet has also given us new tools with which to interrogate stories, events and photos, enabling informed users to feel confident in our capacity to sort out the true from the iffy.

This site presents an exploration of said interrogation tools: from language to watch out for when reading articles to technology that can tell you if a photo has been doctored to trusted myth-busting sources. Also included in this site is an introduction to blockchain, an emerging technology that might help us keep more accurate records.

Lastly, but certainly not least, this site includes a handy questionnaire: an easy and fast way for you to check out the validity of an article, story or post that you’re questioning.

The resources on this site are freely available for any information users online, where we’re all detectives of truth. Happy sleuthing! -MM