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7 podcasts that help you weed out misinformation online

Lies take many different forms on the internet. There’s misinformation, which is when someone spreads lies while thinking they’re sharing the truth. Then there’s out-and-out disinformation. That’s when someone maliciously spreads lies with the intention of tricking others.

You’ve heard about fake news — but that term is too broad to do any good. Nowadays, spotting online lies is so tough ASU launched a new digital media literacy degree. Of course, not everyone can afford university courses that teach them how to navigate the news. Most of us have to teach ourselves.

Tap or click here for six clever ways to spot fake news stories and scams. If you’re more of an auditory learner, you’re in luck: There are a ton of high-quality podcasts that break down every flavor of fake news you’ll encounter. Bookmark this page because we’re sharing seven great podcasts that cover every aspect of the modern misinformation crisis.

1. Disinformation: How social media lies change history

If you didn’t know, we’ve got a few podcasts that can teach you all about the Wild West of modern-day tech. You can get daily one-minute updates through the Kim Komando Daily Tech Update.

If you prefer a conversation between friends, we’ve got that too. Listen to Kim chat with Allie, Ben and Matt in the weekly Tech Refresh podcast. One listener described it “like hanging out with your smartest friends.”

And, of course, you should check out the Kim Komando Explains podcast. It’s where Kim sinks her teeth into every tech topic you can imagine, from self-driving cars to the way online lies spread like wildfire.

One episode tackles just that. It’s called “Disinformation: How social media lies change history.” In this podcast, Kim explains how powerful players on the modern stage try to keep you ignorant. You’ll learn why companies, governments and terrorist groups across the globe manufacture fake social media posts. Disinformation experts Kristy Roschke and Emerson Brooking talk with Kim about the scary new shadow industry designed to keep us ignorant, compliant and powerless.

2. (Mis)Informed

(Mis)Informed is a three-episode podcast about fact-checking and fake news. Each episode features fact-checkers, journalists and experts around the world, who tackle some of the biggest questions about the ongoing issue of misinformation, from “Who is fact-checking for?” to “How can reporters avoid amplifying inaccurate claims?”

The International Fact-Checking Network released this podcast, which means you’re hearing from the people who do this day in and day out. This episode explains why fact-checking is so easy to get wrong.

Tons of social media sites are working hard to add fact-checking features to their apps. Even the Internet Archive is getting in on the action, adding fact checks to its catalog of old web pages. Tap or click here to see how this update can help keep disinformation in check.

3. Information Disorder and Who Profits From It

Are you asking yourself, “What’s the difference between misinformation and disinformation?” Do you want to better educate yourself on the many different information disorders? This episode is the perfect resource for you.

It’s part of a podcast series called “The Sunday Show” from Tech Policy Press. This episode goes into depth on information disorders, a term coined by First Draft co-founder Claire Wardle.

You’ll learn about the ways social media platforms spread inaccuracies — as well as how platforms are fighting the problem. Experts chime in on clickbait, transparency, and the degradation of information ecosystems. If you’re wondering where it all went wrong and what you can do about it, give this episode a listen.

For more information, ASU’s News Co/Lab explains each of the main information disorders — along with examples so you can recognize them in the wild. Here are the seven types of information disorders you’ll encounter online.

4. Dig Deeper

Learn all about online learning technology in Dig Deeper: Critical Thinking in the Digital Age. This nine-episode series examines critical thinking and digital literacy. Its purpose is to spark conversations about the state of misinformation on the internet, as well as the need for digital literacy education for students.

This educational podcast includes interviews with journalists, academics and authors who research and discuss the issue of fact-checking in the digital landscape. In this episode, host Frank Connolly talks with media critic and Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy about the results of MindEdge Learning’s national poll of millennials on critical thinking and digital literacy.

5. Critical Thinking Your Way Through The News

If you’re jonesing for a long-lasting podcast that covers every aspect of news, we’ve got you covered. Just check out the TeachThought podcast, which has over 275 episodes dedicated to politics, news coverage, technology, news and more. Of course, it’s on this list because it has a few great episodes on digital literacy.

An earlier episode, No. 103, is called “Critical Thinking Your Way Through The News.” It features Jens Erik Gouls, the editor-in-chief of The Knife Media. This one-hour podcast details how critical thinking can help news consumers analyze the spin, slant, and logic of news media.

We also like episode 112, which is called “Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-Truth America.” Here host Drew Perkins speaks with University of Arkansas professor Chris Goering. He’s the author of “Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-Truth America,” which explains how everyone, no matter how educated, can fall for misinformation campaigns. 

6. The Mind Online

Designed to help listeners learn how to be educated civic civilians, The Mind Online is a 12-episode series that features teachers, librarians, scholars and reporters to give a wide array of perspectives on the importance of digital literacy. 

Teaching Tolerance Managing Editor Monita Bell hosts the show, which analyzes the way the public interacts with and creates online content. The first episode defines digital literacy and differentiates it from traditional media literacy. Bell speaks with experts Matthew Johnson and Shana White, who explain the digital landscape and provide advice to teachers.

7. Fake News: An Origin Story

This podcast is a personal favorite of mine. I’ve spent more time listening to Hidden Brain than any other podcast. It’s hosted by Shankar Vedantam, an NPR reporter who focuses on social sciences and human behavior.

Of course, there are some strange psychologies at play when it comes to information disorders. He and Columbia University Professor Andie Tucher break down the complicated history of so-called fake news in this episode. By explaining the past, they reveal how we got to today’s 24/7 news cycle, which is rife with inaccuracies, a lack of transparency and distrustful audiences.

You’ll also learn about the tech tricks bad actors use to trick you. Faking videos and photos is easier than ever before. You’ll learn about new avenues for faking — as well as how you can tell fact from fiction.

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