Getting down to the truth: Diagnosing Online Health Information

Truth and Consequences

Perhaps the most important information to get right is that about our health. If you've ever worried about a symptom and turned to the Internet, it can be a terrifying experience. How do you know what's credible? We can help.

Knox County Public Library announces "Getting Down to the Truth," a monthly conversation about fake news, filter bubbles, and big data with a focus on how to identify credible and not so credible sources. These monthly, topical sessions will examine media and online coverage of healthcare, education, local news, and wealth inequality.

The series will begin with "Diagnosing Health Information" at 6:30 on Tuesday, August 8 at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street. Dr. Martha Buchanan, Director of Knox County Health Department, joins librarians from Knox County Public Library and the Preston Medical Library to cast a diagnostic eye on online health information in America. The event is free and open to the public.

We will use the "CRAAP test" to evaluate media representations of these topics and explore ways to find good, accurate resources. The CRAAP test consists of five criteria: currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. Sarah Blakeslee of the University of California at Chico's Meriam Library developed the standard as a way for students and teachers to evaluate sources with a skeptical eye. The tool is especially helpful when conducting research on the internet, where unsubstantiated blog posts show up in a Google search beside peer-reviewed studies.

Additional follow-up sessions include "Mastering Education Information" on September 12, 6:30 to 8:00; "Investigating Local News" on October 10, 6:30 to 8:00; and "Accounting for Wealth Inequality" on November 15, noon to 2:00. All sessions will be held at the East Tennessee History Center. Truth and Consequences Symposium is made possible through a grant from the Jane L. Pettway Foundation and the Knox County Public Library Foundation.