We have all been there. Someone hands you a story on Facebook or Twitter or you seem really great photos or a heart-touching (wrenching?) graphic on Instagram. Perhaps you would like to pass it on. Perhaps it is about a paper topic, and you want to use it.
STOP! Before you use a web article for papers or share it with your friends, make sure it is true (factual) and froma credible source.
Alas, Snopes.com and Truth or Fiction? cover only the most outrageous claims, so your article may not be there. Next, check the name of the parent site or publication. Is it a well known news source such as The New York Times or CNN? Then the article is probably factual and credible.
If you don't recognize the publisher, Ad Fontes Media is your next stop. Their chart sorts out news outlets both by political bias (left to right) and by reliability (top to bottom).
You can also check images and even memes (which are after all images) to find out where they first appeared, sometimes who created them, and if they have been altered. This is especially important if your professor asks you to give a picture credit ina class project.
To check and image, right click on it and select Copy Image Location. Then open Tineye.com. For really new memes and art work Tineye does not always work.
Fortunately, there is also Google's image search. Click on the camera and you can insert an image location or upload an image from a flash drive or hard drive.
Once you have found that the cute photo of the child featured in a prayer request is actually several years old, you will beome addicted to checking images. A picture may speak thousands of words, but it doesn't always tell the truth.