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Unlike the library's databases, Google does not filter or rank its results by the accuracy of their claims. Therefore, it is important to be a vigilant fact-checker when investigating sources in your Google search results.
When evaluating a website, it's important to consider the following factors. These factors are explained on the link below.
Lateral Searching to Evaluate Sources
When you are on a website you do not recognize as a trustworthy source, you can perform a "lateral search" by opening a new tab and searching for information about that source on Google. Here are some factors to consider when investigating a source:
- History of publishing inaccurate information
- Funding; Profit model
- Partisan bias
The following are some methods for finding answers to some of these factors:
- If you are investigating The Washington Times, you can Google: washington times
-site:washingtontimes.com to find information about that site from other websites besides The Washington Times' website.
- If you are investigating a specific claim, you can Google search terms from that claim and include the following terms (site:factcheck.org, site:snopes) to see what fact checkers websites say about that claim.