How to recognize reliable information
Isaac Lyman
83

I’m a graduate student studying neuroscience, and I know of several articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals that shouldn’t be trusted for various reasons. These articles would be in the top of your pyramid and should be given 10 points to start, and I can’t see any part of process you’ve outlined that would bring the credibility score in line with how much we should trust them.

I realize I’m being nitpicky here. I agree with most of your heuristics, and use them frequently to reject information online. I consider most of them necessary but not sufficient for determining the trustworthiness of a source. If a piece of news can’t pass the required hurdles (does it have the click-baity feel) then it’s possible that the information it contains is true, but the packaging is so poor it’s not worth considering.

But if I get to a piece of news that does seem trustworthy and gets a high point value, can I really trust it? If a think tank is hired by a state to produce a high quality article filled with lies, or if a very respectable person (e.g. a scientist) has a strong financial reason to obfuscate the truth when they publish their Nature article, then these heuristics fail. How then do I find the truth?

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