Fact-Checking and Debunking: Covering Rumors, Hoaxes and Gossip

Course Overview

Fact-Checking and Debunking: Covering Rumors, Hoaxes and Gossip
Originally Broadcast On:
January 06, 2015
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

Poynter Prepared members pay just $23.96 for this webinar. Save 20 percent on this course and all Poynter training by becoming a Poynter Prepared Member. Learn more and become a member today. This Webinar is $9.95 for members of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). Watch your member email to get details about the discount.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
January 06, 2015 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Did you hear the one about how to handle online rumors and unverified information effectively?

We've all felt silly sharing something on social media only to find out later that it was a hoax. As reporters and media professionals, though, we have a special responsibility to verify information and debunk rumors. Reporting on what you've learned when you attempted to verify a viral video or refute a rumor can help your audience understand the media landscape and bolster your credibility. Sharing your findings in the right way is key to transparency and engagement.

This Webinar offers tips and strategies for dealing with the onslaught of questionable viral content, fake news articles, rumors and other unverified information that spreads online. Should you cover something just because it's already being talked about? How can you ensure you don't get taken in by a hoax? What's the right way to share your reporting on a rumor without spreading it? Join this Webinar to answer these and other questions.

What Will I Learn:
  • Why and how rumors spread online
  • Who the hoaxers are, which news sites are fakes and other bad actors who try to ensnare journalists
  • How to spot the telltale signs of a questionable viral story
  • Effective strategies for debunking rumors and stopping the spread of misinformation
  • Best practices for covering rumors and unverified claims
Who Should Take this Course:

Bloggers, writers, reporters, editors, teachers and anyone who is interested in going beyond routine fact-checking to learn about how rumors spread and how to debunk them.

Course Instructor:

Craig Silverman

Craig Silverman (@craigsilverman) is the founding editor of BuzzFeed Canada and a leading expert on media errors, accuracy and verification. He previously was a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and founded Emergent.info, a real-time rumor tracker.

Technical Requirements:

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.
We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

  • Flash Player - Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 or higher
  • Browsers - Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher; Safari 2 or higher; Google Chrome (any version)
    Windows users can also use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or higher
  • Bandwidth - 256Kbps (512Kbps recommended)

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at webinars@newsu.org.

You can watch our Live Webinars on your iPad with a free Adobe Connect app. To watch Webinar replays, your iPad must be able to view Flash media players. The Live Webinar experience on your iPad is very similar to watching it from your computer. You can watch the video, follow the presentation, respond to polling questions, ask the presenter questions and participate in any discussion forums.

Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. 

To watch the replay from your iPad, you'll have use a different app from Live Webinars. Browse and download an app from iTunes that allows your device to view a Flash video player. There are multiple apps to choose from, some are free with ads and there are others for purchase.