Three Years of Misinformation: A Case Study of Information Literacy Methods

Elizabeth Zak
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa, USA



Misinformation is an ever-evolving digital issue. As the internet evolves, so too does misinformation and the ways in which it is propagated. Information literacy methods, such as the CRAAP test, the RADAR framework and the SIFT method, can help information users discern between real and fake information, and prevent the spread of misinformation. Unfortunately, the speed with which misinformation evolves often makes information literacy methods obsolete when they are designed and implemented. Furthermore, when people trust misinformation, they struggle with identifying correct information. Visual misinformation presents another concern: people trust what they see, and new misinformative developments such as deepfakes are especially convincing. I chose to explore three examples in 2004, 2013 and 2020, as these years were each dubbed “the year of fake news” by various media outlets. I evaluated the examples using methods popular in each year, and further evaluated how effective the method is at identifying misinformation. Each method is relatively effective when evaluating news and information in its time; however, each possesses its own drawbacks. A better understanding of the methodology used to identify each year’s misinformation will allow us to understand the misinformation of the past and look forward to potential future threats. More research into information literacy methods and their implementation is necessary.

Keywords: information literacy, information literacy methods, misinformation, news outlets

Author Bio

Elizabeth Zak is a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa. Her current research focuses on misinformation, information visualization, and information literacy.

Suggested Reference Citation


Zak, E. (2024). Three years of misinformation: A case study of information literacy methods. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 11(1).


Zak, Elizaveth. “ Three Years of Misinformation: A Case Study of Information Literacy Methods  ”. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 2024, vol. 11, no. 1.

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