cover image Faith and Fake News: A Guide to Consuming Information Wisely

Faith and Fake News: A Guide to Consuming Information Wisely

Rachel I. Wightman. Eerdmans, $19.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-80288-245-5

Librarian Wightman debuts with a practical guide to help Christians navigate what’s true and what’s not on the internet. Though fake news isn’t new—Wightman cites instances of misinformation and rumors in the Bible—the internet’s ability to allow it to spread far and fast requires one to be able to effectively evaluate information and its sources. Wightman offers an array of tools for doing so, from using fact-checking websites to “lateral reading” (researching the content’s creator and credentials for context before using the information). She also urges readers to monitor their emotional states before attempting to discern what’s true and what’s false, as they may be more likely to spread misinformation when affected by negative or angry feelings. The author wades into related social challenges sparked by the online world, such as whether to engage in-person with loved ones who believe conspiracy theories (it’s important to approach these conversations with love and connect with God for guidance first, Wightman advises). While much of the advice boils down to common sense, Christians will particularly appreciate the author’s concrete tips—before talking to someone about misinformation, it’s important to determine one’s desired goal, whether it’s expressing personal values, or trying to spur that person to change. Christians overwhelmed by the media landscape should take a look. (June)