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How to use CRAAP to spot “fake news”

By Michelle Post; graphic by

With so much talk about “fake news” I thought it would be appropriate to write about a resource evaluation method, CRAAP, which stands for Currency (timeliness), Relevance (importance), Authority (source), Accuracy (reliability) and Purpose (reason). The method helps learners sort out relevant information from the sea of data on the internet. However, this method is not just for young learners but can also be used by learners of all ages.

Why is the CRAAP method important?
A USA Today article stated, “Students might be savvy about what type of image to post to Instagram versus Snapchat, but librarians in Chittenden County said that doesn’t mean they can discern fake from real.” In its fifth year of reporting on how much data is created every minute of every day, the company Domo reports, “90 percent of all data was created in the last two years – that’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day.” To understand how much data 2.5 quintillion is, visit Therefore, using the CRAAP method enables a learner to become a stronger critical thinker and enhances his or her ability to discern real news from fake news.

How can the CRAAP method be used?
With so much data being produced, it is critical for today’s learner to know how to use CRAAP to spot fake news. By asking the questions from the CRAAP table above, a learner develops his or her ability to critically think about what they are reading. The more questions a learner asks when reading and researching, the stronger a learner they become. The CRAAP method can be used not only in schools but also at work and home.

Additional Resources for Learning and Using the CRAAP Method:
Video: School librarians teach CRAAP to fight fake news –
Image of CRAAP Acronym Explained –
CRAAP Test Worksheet –
Data Never Sleeps –
Internet Live Stats –



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