Just another site

“Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds”


November 23, 201612:44 PM ET
Stanford researchers assessed students from middle school to college and found they struggled to distinguish ads from articles, neutral sources from biased ones and fake accounts from real ones.
Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images
If the children are the future, the future might be very ill-informed.

That’s one implication of a new study from Stanford researchers that evaluated students’ ability to assess information sources and described the results as “dismaying,” “bleak” and “[a] threat to democracy.”

As content creators and social media platforms grapple with the fake news crisis, the study highlights the other side of the equation: What it looks like when readers are duped.

The researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education have spent more than a year evaluating how well students across the country can evaluate online sources of information.

Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts
Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts
Middle school, high school and college students in 12 states were asked to evaluate the information presented in tweets, comments and articles. More than 7,800 student responses were collected.

In exercise after exercise, the researchers were “shocked” — their word, not ours — by how many students failed to effectively evaluate the credibility of that information.

The students displayed a “stunning and dismaying consistency” in their responses, the researchers wrote, getting duped again and again. They weren’t looking for high-level analysis of data but just a “reasonable bar” of, for instance, telling fake accounts from real ones, activist groups from neutral sources and ads from articles.

More than 80 percent of middle schoolers believed that ‘sponsored content’ was a real news story.
“Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there,” the researchers wrote. “Our work shows the opposite.”

A professional appearance and polished “About” section could easily persuade students that a site was neutral and authoritative, the study found, and young people tended to credulously accept information as presented even without supporting evidence or citations.

The research was divided by age group and used 15 different assessments. Here’s a sample of some of the results:

Most middle school students can’t tell native ads from articles.

The researchers showed hundreds of middle schoolers a Slate home page that included a traditional ad and a “native ad” — a paid story branded as “sponsored content” — as well as Slate articles.

Most students could identify the traditional ad, but more than 80 percent of them believed that the “sponsored content” article was a real news story.

“Some students even mentioned that it was sponsored content but still believed that it was a news article,” the researchers wrote, suggesting the students don’t know what “sponsored content” means.

Most high school students accept photographs as presented, without verifying them.

The researchers showed high school students a photograph of strange-looking flowers, posted on the image hosting site Imgur by a user named “pleasegoogleShakerAamerpleasegoogleDavidKelly. The caption read “Fukushima Nuclear Flowers: Not much more to say, this is what happens when flowers get nuclear birth defects.”
Sam Wineburg, a professor of education and history at Stanford University and the lead author of the study, spoke to NPR on Tuesday.

“The photograph had no attribution. There was nothing that indicated that it was from anywhere,” he said. “We asked students, ‘Does this photograph provide proof that the kind of nuclear disaster caused these aberrations in nature?’ And we found that over 80 percent of the high school students that we gave this to had an extremely difficult time making that determination.

“They didn’t ask where it came from. They didn’t verify it. They simply accepted the picture as fact.”

Many high school students couldn’t tell a real and fake news source apart on Facebook.

They didn’t ask where it came from. They didn’t verify it. They simply accepted the picture as fact.
Sam Wineburg, lead author of the study
One assessment presented two posts announcing Donald Trump’s candidacy for president — one from the actual Fox News account, with a blue checkmark indicating it was verified, and one from an account that looked like Fox News.

“Only a quarter of the students recognized and explained the significance of the blue checkmark, a Stanford press release noted. “And over 30 percent of students argued that the fake account was more trustworthy.”

Most college students didn’t suspect potential bias in a tweet from an activist group.

The researchers sent undergraduate students a link to a tweet by MoveOn about gun owners’ feelings on background checks, citing a survey by Public Policy Polling.
They asked students to evaluate the tweet and say why it might or might not be a good data source.

More than 30 percent of students thought a fake Fox News account was more trustworthy than the real one.
“Only a few students noted that the tweet was based on a poll conducted by a professional polling firm,” which might make it a good source, the researchers wrote.

At the same time, less than a third of students cited the political agenda of as a reason it might be a flawed source.

And more than half of the students didn’t even click on the link within the tweet before evaluating the usefulness of the data.

Most Stanford students couldn’t identify the difference between a mainstream and fringe source.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which publishes the journal Pediatrics, has more than 65,000 members and has been around since 1930.

Less than a third of students thought has a political agenda that might justify skepticism about its data on gun owners.
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) split from AAP in 2002, over objections to parenting by same-sex couples. ACPeds claims homosexuality is linked to pedophilia. It’s classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which estimates that ACPeds has about 200 members.

In an article in Education Week, Wineburg and his colleague Sarah McGrew explain that they directed Stanford undergrads to articles on both organizations’ sites. The students spent up to 10 minutes evaluating them, and were free to click links or Google anything they liked.

“More than half concluded that the article from the American College of Pediatricians … was ‘more reliable,’ ” the researchers wrote. “Even students who preferred the entry from the American Academy of Pediatrics never uncovered the differences between the two groups.”

You can see in-depth examples of some of the exercises — including sample responses — at the study’s executive summary.

The project began before the recent uproar over the prevalence of fake news online. But its relevance is immediately clear.

Wineburg told NPR on Tuesday that the study demonstrates that U.S. classrooms haven’t caught up to the way information is influencing kids daily.

“What we see is a rash of fake news going on that people pass on without thinking,” he said. “And we really can’t blame young people because we’ve never taught them to do otherwise.”

In fact, as Wineburg and McGrew wrote in Education Week, some schools have filters directing students to valid sources, which doesn’t give them practice learning to evaluate sources for themselves.

The solution, they write, is to teach students — or, really, all Internet users — to read like fact checkers.

That means not just reading “vertically,” on a single page or source, but looking for other sources — as well as not taking “About” pages as evidence of neutrality, and not assuming Google ranks results by reliability.

“The kinds of duties that used to be the responsibility of editors, of librarians now fall on the shoulders of anyone who uses a screen to become informed about the world,” Wineburg told NPR. “And so the response is not to take away these rights from ordinary citizens but to teach them how to thoughtfully engage in information seeking and evaluating in a cacophonous democracy.”

© 2017 npr

Leave a comment »

Connecting with other Carcinoid Patients 

Hi everyone!  Facebook seems to be the place to find other carcinoid cancer patients.  Due to my own health issues and continued decline in energy, I have stepped down as President of the Iowa Carcinoid/NET Connection.


Credible News Sources

It has become apparent to me that not everyone has been taught credibility testing to decipher between fact and fiction. So, I created this to help you.

Why is it important that we get credible information? Well, it’s assumed that everyone WANTS to live in reality. Most people do not like to be lied to, or to live in a lie. We make decisions in our lives based on information. Others make decisions that effect our lives based on information. So it is incredibly important that we all have the most credible, reliable, factual information possible.  You wouldn’t want to be thrown in prison and your life turned completely upside down because the authorities have the wrong information, right?  That is why credible facts, information, and evidence are used.

First, I’m going to give you a list of credible news sources. Then, I’m going give you the tools to figure out for yourself what is fact vs. fiction.

Credible News Sources:  (These news sources have passed credibility testing.)

  1.  USA Today
  2. PBS News Hour
  3. NPR – however, there was an instance when they tried to normalize Breightbart, a VERY extremist right-winged media source.
  4. Aljazeera
  5. Huffington Post
  6. New York Times
  7. Washington Post
  8. The Hill
  9. CNN – I’ve been disappointed in some of their coverage/lack of coverage, but they are a reputable source.
  10. MSNBC – left leaning, but factual
  11. BBC
  12. The Atlantic
  13. The Telegraph
  14. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  15. Addicting Info – left leaning, but factual
  16. Raw Story – left leaning, but factual
  17. Daily Kos – left leaning, but factual
  18. Boston Globe

If you have more, let me know, and provide your “argument ” as to why it is a credible source.

Also use:





Credibility Testing: Learn how to determine between fact and fiction for yourself.





Leave a comment »

New announcement coming out of University of Iowa Hospitals.

New announcement coming out of University of Iowa Hospitals. I have accepted a position on the External Advisory Board for this grant.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center have received the first-ever Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study neuroendocrine tumors. SPORE grants are funded through the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The five-year, $10.67 million grant is the only SPORE grant funding NET research.

1 Comment »

Health Problems Associated with Carcinoid Cancer

We are finding that there are MANY additional health problems that are showing STRONG correlation with Carcinoid Cancer. These include, but are not limited to:

1. Thyroid Disease

2. Type 2 Diabetes

3. Autoimmune Diseases

4. Vascular constriction problems/issues such as: Tachycardia Arrhythmias, Variant Anginas, Printzmetal Anginas, Right Bundle Branch Block (cardiac), Migraine Headaches, Raynaud’s Disease, Gastroparesis, Idiopathic Intestinal Pseudo Obstructions, etc.

5. Carcinoid Heart Disease


Unfortunately, I, like many other Carcinoid Cancer patients, have all of the above.  Not all Carcinoid Cancer patients have all of these or any of these. The research has not yet been done on all of these yet either – mostly due to lack of research funding. However, we are noticing a much higher percentage of Carcinoid Cancer patients who have the above health conditions compared to the general population.


Sept. 27th – Q&A Luncheon with Dr. O’Dorisio

Q&A Luncheon with Dr. O’Dorisio

Sept. 27th @ 1p in Iowa City

Please contact me at to register.


2014 Looking Ahead

Is it just me, or does this winter seem to be taking FOREVER to end?

We’re looking ahead this year to organize some events.  So far, we are planning the following:

1.  A Q&A Luncheon with Dr. O’Dorisio in Iowa City

2.  The 2nd Annual Carcinoid/NET Cancer Awareness Walk

Come join us on Facebook and be a part of our interactive group!  Just search on Facebook for “Iowa Carcinoid Cancer Connection”.  We’d love to see you there!

My Best,

Jen Holm

Leave a comment »

Happy 2014 Everyone!

We hope this year will bring good things for all of us!  This year for the Iowa Carcinoid Cancer Connection, we will be planning to have another Q&A luncheon with Dr. O’Dorisio in Iowa City and having our 2nd Annual Carcinoid/NET Cancer Awareness Walk!  Our Facebook group has become very interactive and a great place to meet and talk to others in the state of Iowa who have Carcinoid or other form of NET cancer.

Our Events Committee will be meeting soon to discuss other fundraising events such as a silent auction.  We have had items donated to our group for fundraising efforts.

I have volunteered to get “Carcinoid Cancer Connection” Facebook pages up and running for the 16 states that don’t currently have any support groups.  Those 16 states are:

1. New Mexico

2. Tennessee

3. Wyoming

4. Nebraska

5. N. Dakota

6. Kansas

7. Montana

8. Mississippi

9. Kentucky

10. Hawaii

11. Idaho

12. Alaska

13. Delaware

14. Oklahoma

15. S. Dakota

16. Wisconsin

So, if you have Carcinoid Cancer, or another type of NeuroEndocrine (NET) Cancer, you are welcome to join any of those Facebook (FB) state (local) groups.  Just do a search on FB for the state name listed above followed by “Carcinoid Cancer Connection” (ie: “Delaware Carcinoid Cancer Connection”).

We hope to meet you soon if we haven’t met you already!  We’re here to help…  SEA = Support, Education, & Awareness

Hoping 2014 brings wonderful things to you!

Jennifer K. Holm

Leave a comment »

For those on Facebook

New  support groups have been created on Facebook:
1. For those who like  FB
2. Support groups for those states that have no state group (see list  
3. To offer carcinoid cancer patients in those states a place to  connect 
with other Carcinoid/NET patients "locally"

State support groups that have been added on Facebook (search for the state name 
then add  "Carcinoid Cancer Connection", ie: "Kansas Carcinoid Cancer 
Connection") for the following states:
N.  Dakota
S  Dakota
New  Mexico
Leave a comment »


Update: I had the big dr appt today. I have to have some more blood work done and another bone marrow biopsy (make sure I don’t have lymphoma, see if the sarcoidosis has spread to the bone marrow, and make sure the bone marrow is clear of any abnormalities). Then, I will start on the Methotrexate sub-q shots (in about 2 weeks). Within 3-6 weeks, I will start on Remicade. He agreed with me that it’s a double-edged sword… if I do nothing, this will not have a positive outcome. And we may not have a positive outcome with treatment either, but at least we’ll have tried the best treatment they can come up with for me at this time. They will be monitoring me closely for increased carcinoid cancer, and/or development of: lymphoma, leukemia, and melanoma.

Leave a comment »