BBC’s Amanda Ruggeri Explains the ‘SIFT’ Strategy for Spotting Fake News


Amanda Ruggeri’s article on the BBC introduces the “SIFT” strategy, a method developed by digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield to identify and counteract misinformation. This four-step process includes:

  • Stop: Pause before sharing or reacting to a post.
  • Investigate the Source: Look into who created the post, their background, and potential biases.
  • Find Better Coverage: Check if credible sources have reported and verified the claim.
  • Trace the Original Context: Seek the original source to ensure the information hasn’t been taken out of context.

Ruggeri highlights the urgency of combating misinformation, particularly in areas like health, where false information about vaccines has led to dangerous consequences. The article underscores the importance of critical thinking and mindful sharing in the digital age.

Discussion Points:


Outline the steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of misinformation?

  • Consider the responsibility of mindful sharing and critical evaluation of content.

              Sub-heading | Top of article


How do cognitive biases influence the spread of misinformation?

  • Reflect on the tendency to share information that aligns with pre-existing beliefs.

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Why is it important to stop before sharing content on social media?

  • Consider the impact of immediacy and emotional reactions on the spread of misinformation.

              Sub-heading | S is for… Stop


How can investigating the source of a post help in identifying misinformation?

  • Reflect on the credibility and potential biases of different creators and media outlets.

              Sub-heading | I is for… Investigate the source


Why is it essential to verify the expertise of the source in a particular subject matter?

  • Reflect on the importance of subject-specific knowledge and credibility.

              Sub-heading | I is for… Investigate the source


What are some effective ways to verify a claim found on social media?

  • Think about using tools like Google News, Google Fact Check, and reverse image search.

              Sub-heading | F is for… Find better coverage


What role do fact-checking websites play in the Sift method?

  • Consider the benefits and limitations of using fact-checking resources.

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Why is tracing a claim to its original context crucial in misinformation detection?

  • Consider how context can alter the perceived meaning of an image or statement.

              Sub-heading | T is for… Trace the claim to its original context