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Recognizing Online Propaganda, Bias, and Advertising

While their motives aren’t always evil, people who bend the truth don’t usually do so for the greater good, either. The online world is no exception—in fact, it’s a paradise for purveyors of hype, pseudo-journalism, and intellectual snake oil. This video explores ways to identify bias and propaganda on the Internet and sift through the various influences, such as political or corporate interests, that may be behind some Web content. Spotlighting key aspects of propaganda and bias-driven writing, such as the use of glittering generalities, name-calling, or card-stacking, the program also presents important tips for differentiating between advertising and genuinely useful, scholarly material—a task made increasingly difficult by cleverly disguised sponsorship. Web savvy is further developed through discussions of URL suffixes (.com, .org, etc.) and what they indicate. Part of the series Internet Research and Information Literacy: Effective Strategies and Cautionary Tales. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A Cambridge Educational Production. (21 minutes)

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Introduction: Media and Information Literacy
People are bombarded by information designed to sway them one way or another into thinking or doing things. Information literacy is the ability to consume and create credible, verified information, and the ability to distinguish that information from raw