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SWIFT Method for Evaluating Resources: Trace

SWIFT is a way to evaluate information you find online using fact-checking, lateral reading, and common tools like Wikipedia and Google. Also includes information about the CRAAP test, a checklist that emphasizes vertical reading.

Trace Back to the Source

Trace the source. Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original source to reveal original context.

  • Be aware of omissions or framing to manipulate genuine content.
  • Use reverse image searching to find original context and origins of images.
  • Trace original research papers to confirm claims made in news or social media.
  • Use fact-checking sites to verify viral information.
  • Is the source material (media, quotes, claims, research) accurately presented?

Questions to ask Yourself - TRACE

  • Can you find the original source?
  • What is the original content?
  • Has it been accurately presented?
  • What do fact-checking sites say about the veracity of the story or image?

Vocabulary & Glossary

Assimilation- The process where the sharer of information chooses what details to omit or emphasize based on what the sharer believes is the main theme or most interesting parts of information.

Fact-checking site - Typically unbiased non-profit sites devoted to debunking false and verifying true claims and viral stories.

Leveling- The process where details are left out as information travels further from its source.

Sharpening- The process where small details are added or emphasized to create more impact as information travels further from its source.

Trace Back to the Source

Fact-checking Sites

Fact-checking sites are often nonpartisan, nonprofit websites that try to increase public knowledge and understanding by fact checking claims to see if they are based on fact or if they are biased/not supported by evidence.

Here is a list of selected fact-checking sites you may find useful:​​

Washington Post Fact Checker​