Which is True and which is False? The SIFT Method

What is the SIFT method?

The SIFT method is a way of determining whether or not a source is reliable and trustworthy. The method consists of four steps to analyze a source’s integrity:

  • Stop: Stop to think about what you’re looking at and don’t share it around if you aren’t sure about it
  • Investigate the Source: Check to see what other websites say about the site you’re looking at
  • Find Better Coverage: Are other sites making the same claim?
  • Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media: Where is this article getting its information from? Is the origin of the information trustworthy?

Article 1: FALSE

The article entitled “DeSantis: Medical Elites ‘Were Wrong About Efficacy of mRNA Vaccines’” is false. Let’s break it down:

Stop:

Pausing to review the article at first glance shows the foundation for the article is based on what a politician says about vaccines, not a medical professional. Therefore, the reliability of the article should be questioned for further investigation.

Investigate the Source:

When looking up the article’s platform “InfoWars” it instantly results in other news outlets and fact-checking websites, such as PolitiFact, commenting on how it is a far-right conspiracy-oriented platform run by Alex Jones.

Finding Better Coverage:

When looking up if the medical field is in fact incorrect about the COVID-19 vaccine, I got a bunch of articles about how doctors and politicians have been making false claims and spreading misinformation about the vaccine.

Trace Claims:

If we trace the sources in the article back, they are other right-leaning sources such as stating that COVID boosters cause complications but the credit to this claim leads to the Epoch Times. Or sourcing things to another InfoWars article.

Article 2: TRUE

The article entitled “The new COVID booster could be the last you’ll need for a year, federal officials say” is true. Let’s break it down:

Stop:

When first viewing this article, the title does not conclusively state anything as factual, using words such as “could” instead of “will.” They also mention that federal officials are stating this. While the article still should be investigated, it is already looking as though it may be reliable.

Investigate the Source:

When looking up NPR, the source of the article, what mainly comes up are other websites claiming how NPR is one of the most trusted news sources in the U.S. and it is mentioned how the site is legitimate, neutral, and truthful.

Finding Better Coverage:

There are other news outlets mentioning that there might only be a need for COVID vaccines once a year from reputable sites such as CNN and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. However, there isn’t too much coverage since these articles were published 6 days ago.

Trace Claims:

If we trace the source of this article back, it leads to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition page with Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, and how he has discussed the potential for there to only be an annual COVID vaccine in the following years.

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