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We love the internet! It's a wealth of information where we can learn about just about anything, but it's also kind of a pit of information that can be false or misleading. So, we're partnering with Mediawise and the Stanford History Education Group to make this series on Navigating Digital Information. Let's learn the facts about facts!

Special thanks to our partners from MediaWise who helped create this series:
The Poynter Institute
The Stanford History Education Group (sheg.stanford.edu)

MediaWise is supported by Google.

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Hello and welcome to Crash Course Navigating Digital information. My name is John Green, and you may know me from my various channels on YouTube, my all-caps Tweets about Liverpool Football Club, Q&As about my books on my website, or elsewhere on the internet. I spend a lot of time online. In fact, in some ways, I live here. The average American spends 24 hours per week online, but 1 in 4 U.S. adults say that they are online almost constantly. And I am among them. I love the internet! It contains so much helpful information, it connects us to each other, it allows more people to have a voice in public conversations. But of course the internet is also littered with misleading, sensationalized, and downright false information. So, okay, I only know two jokes. I'll tell the other one at the end of the series, but here's the first one, which was made famous by the American writer David Foster Wallace. Two young fish are swimming along one day when an older fish swims past and says, "Morning kids, how's the water?" The young fish just look at each other for a second and then swim on for a while. And then one says to the other, "What the heck is water?" Now, I am not the wise old fish of this enterprise. I am as susceptible to misleading information as anyone. I tend to focus on information that reinforces my preexisting worldview and to passively ingest all kinds of media while scrolling and swiping endlessly through my feeds. But I also think we ought to be suspicious of anyone who claims to be the wise old fish with some special understanding of what we're swimming in. Believing that you're immune to the seductions of false and misleading information is, if anything, a symptom of being influenced by false and misleading information. But I tell that joke for two reasons; first, because I need you to call me out if I start acting like the wise old fish; and second, to point out that much of what we're swimming in is new and strange, and we are still figuring it out together. So, for this series, Crash Course has teamed up with Media Wise, a project out of the Poynter Institute that was created with support from Google. 

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the Poynter Institute is a non-profit journalism school, and the goal of Mediawise is to teach students how to assess the accuracy of information they encounter online. 

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