I can’t believe I’m fact-checking a viral story about the gender of a plastic potato with detachable body parts.

  I can’t believe I’m fact-checking a viral story about a plastic potato, but Hasbro is removing the “Mr.” from its “Potato Head” logo, and offering a new mix-and-match package that includes two potato bodies, one baby potato, and a bunch of loose parts that will let kids put them together however they want. That doesn’t mean it’s discarding or re-gendering the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters.  (Though the…

No, these “Perspective matters” photographers aren’t misrepresenting the size of a fire in Paris

I have shared and liked this image, and incorporated it in lesson plans. The juxtaposition suggests that the little knot of photographers is hunkering down in order to make a small fire appear more threatening in front of L’ Arc de Triomphe in Paris. I have seen plenty of cases where unrelated images were juxtaposed and mislabeled, then shared by third parties who aren’t aware of the manipulation, and are…

Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers: Four Moves

The confirmation bias describes the very human tendency to reject evidence that challenges our worldview, and to seek out — and often cling to — evidence that supports it. If we believe black cats are bad luck, we remember every time a bad thing happened to us after we saw a black cat. If someone we love tells us we will catch a cold if we go outside with wet…

No, Kirk and Uhura didn’t share the first interracial kiss on television

Great post from Fake History Hunter: It is often said that the first interracial kiss on TV was the (involuntary) kiss between Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) and translator and communications officer Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) in the Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” that was broadcast on the 22nd of November 1968. This is not the case. There had of course been interracial kisses before in Star Trek but…

Man arrested in DC with weapons is released; says he made a mistake

A man arrested at DC checkpoint yesterday tells the Washington Post he is a private security guard, hired to protect media equipment. Yes, lots of people are understandably uptight after the insurrection at the Capitol last week; but in America, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Wesley Allan Beeler has already been released — a sign the authorities don’t consider him a terroristic threat.…

Should you trust media bias charts? – Poynter

Traditional journalism values a focus on news reporting that is fair and impartial, guided by principles like truth, verification and accuracy. But those standards are not observed across the board in the “news” content that people consume. Tim Groeling, a communications professor at the University of California Los Angeles, said some consumers take too much of the “news” they encounter as impartial. When people are influenced by undisclosed political bias…