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IDS 101: Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation: Background Info

The word Truth made up the words Lies and a magnifying glass











Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation - Is the Truth Really Out There?

Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories, and why are those beliefs so difficult to change? In the age of social media silos and deep fake videos, how can you spot misinformation, and what is the most effective way of combating it? In this data-driven course, we will look at examples of misinformation and conspiracy theories, ranging from Flat Earthers to QAnon, or climate change deniers, and learn how a solid understanding of how to interpret data can help us navigate the world around us.

Course taught by: Course taught by: Michaela Kleinert                                                                         Colloquium Associate: Tyler Przbylski

Authoritative Reference Sources vs Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great resource for getting general info about something, but because anyone can contribute or change its content, it is sometimes considered unreliable.  It is a good place to start your research, but it is best to double check what you find against other sources.  

Consider consulting the library's print or electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, or other reference books to backup the basic information of your paper.  Reference books can provide a general overview of a topic and help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data; these sources often include references and lists of further readings.  Additionally, these resources have typically gone through an editorial process to check for accuracy.  To the right and below are some resources that may be of use.

Reference E-books

Online Collection of Reference Resources

Reference Books (Print)

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209