For The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal, the most important part of the new debunking push — and what makes this trend different from straightforward fact-finding journalism — is its ability to change the habits of readers, recalibrating their skepticism for a new set of circumstances. “Debunking jobs shouldn’t just do the basic stuff — checking out where the media came from, looking at the accounts on which it was posted, tracing the route it took to popularity — but teach people how to do it themselves,” he said. “Once you’ve done it a couple times, the skepticism becomes reflexive. (And bonus: When something turns out to be real, you like it even more because you haven’t been duped by bullshit over and over).” (via 2014 Is The Year Of The Viral Debunk)

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