In the interview Elizabeth links to with Mike Caulfield, he says: “Stuff is reaching us with minimal gatekeeping.”
I think that is the key point with digital data by comparison to print. Print has been through multiple gatekeepers: editors, publishers, booksellers and librarians. If it’s an academic article in a journal, it’s probably been peer-reviewed. However, someone can set up a website or a blog online or join a social media platform (often for free) and start sharing their own opinions. Some of these are so professional looking that it can be harder to differentiate between the reliable and the fringe. The links Jenny shared to John Royce’s articles illustrate how even things like the CRAAP Test can now flounder when faced with those circumstances, so is it so surprising that many adults do too.
Does that mean we should ditch the CRAAP Test? Maybe not. I can still see merit in teaching the points raised by it, but I think we need to look beyond it too. Appearances can be deceiving. Polished and professional looking websites can still be the home of extremist views. Perhaps we need to go back to that old adage: don’t judge a book by it’s cover.