True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News

True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News

by Cindy L. Otis
True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News

True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News

by Cindy L. Otis


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"If I could pick one book to hand to every teen—and adult—on earth, this is the one. True or False is accessible, thorough, and searingly honest, and we desperately needed it." —Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

A former CIA analyst unveils the true history of fake news and gives readers tips on how to avoid falling victim to it in this highly designed informative YA nonfiction title.

"Fake news" is a term you’ve probably heard a lot in the last few years, but it’s not a new phenomenon. From the ancient Egyptians to the French Revolution to Jack the Ripper and the founding fathers, fake news has been around as long as human civilization. But that doesn’t mean that we should just give up on the idea of finding the truth.

In True or False, former CIA analyst Cindy Otis will take readers through the history and impact of misinformation over the centuries, sharing stories from the past and insights that readers today can gain from them. Then, she shares lessons learned in over a decade working for the CIA, including actionable tips on how to spot fake news, how to make sense of the information we receive each day, and, perhaps most importantly, how to understand and see past our own information biases, so that we can think critically about important issues and put events happening around us into context.

True or False includes a wealth of photo illustrations, informative inserts, and sidebars containing interesting facts and trivia sure to engage readers in critical thinking and analysis.

This title has common core connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250833082
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 07/26/2022
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 142,740
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Cindy L. Otis, author of True or False, knew that she wanted to join the CIA at seven years old when her dad let her watch her first James Bond movie. And after receiving her bachelor’s degree in international politics and her master’s in international relations with an emphasis in national security from Boston University, her dream came true. Cindy spent most of her career as a military analyst, but also served as an intelligence briefer to the White House, and later, as Branch Chief. She was the recipient of the Army Civilian Service Medal and the CIA’s Donald Cryer Award. Cindy now works in cybersecurity, regularly speaking and writing about political and national security issues for various media outlets. She also continues her life-long work advocating for disability rights.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Part I The History of Fake News

Section I Fake News Has Seen Around a Lot Longer Than You Think

Chapter 1 The Impact of Fake News 1

The Gruesome Story of Jack the Ripper

Chapter 2 The Beginning of Fake News 12

The Glorious Victory of Ramses II * The Demonic Rulers of Constantinople

Insert: The Printing Press 22

Chapter 3 Fake News and the French Monarchy 24

The War of Words Between Marie de Médicis and Her Son * Marie Antoinette, Destroyer of France

Insert: The First Newspapers 36

Chapter 4 Fake News and America's Founders 38

Benjamin Franklin's Very Special Printing Press * When Thomas Jefferson Really Wanted to Be President

Chapter 5 Fake News Takes On Science 48

The Wild Worlds of Edgar Allan Poe * The New York Sun's Fantastical Lunar Creatures * That Time the Wichita City Eagle Said the Earth Would Explode

Insert: The Impact of the Telegraph on Fake News 59

Section 2 Yellow Journalism, Propaganda, and Disinformation, Oh My!

Chapter 6 Yellow Journalism 63

Hearst, Pulitzer, and the Spanish-American War They Sold

Insert: Backlash Against Yellow Journalism 70

Chapter 7 Fake News at War 72

WWII: How the Nazis Used Lies to Kill * When the British Faked a Mutiny Over the Radio * The Fake Military That Might Have Just Won the War

Chapter 8 When Racist Conspiracies Become Fake News 83

How First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's Clubs Secretly Planned an Uprising

Insert: The Alien Invasion. That Wasn't 90

Chapter 9 Smoking Is Good for You and Other Fake News About Your Health 94

The Tricks of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee * Dr. Andrew Wakefield and His Fake Medical Study About Vaccines

Insert: The Introduction of Television 102

Chapter 10 The Fake News Intelligence Battles 104

When the Soviets Claimed the US Created HIV-AIDS

Insert: Welcome to the Internet 112

Section 3 Drowning In Fake News

Chapter 11 Going Digital 117

The Syrian Woman Who Didn't Exist * A Fake News Website Empire * When George Bush Couldn't Get Rid of Fake Campaign Websites

Insert: Fact-Checking Websites 126

Chapter 12 Fake News Goes Viral 128

Fake Rumors That Killed Innocent People in Mexico * How Fake News Almost Started a War * When Russia Definitely Didn't Shoot Down an Airplane

Chapter 13 Fake News Takes Over Elections 140

Hillary Clinton and the Man Who Shot Up a Pizza Parlor * The Guy Who Paid His Student-Loan Bill with Fake News * That Time Russian Troll Farms Tried to Rig the US Election

Insert: Fake News Weaponized Around the World 161

Part II How We Fight Back!

Chapter 14 Facts vs. Opinions 166

The Study That Shows It's Hard to Tell the Difference

Exercise: Fact or Opinion? 174

Chapter 15 I'm Biased, You're Biased, We're All Biased 176

La-La-La, I'm Not Listening-A Study * Cognitive Dissonance and the Aliens That Aren't Coming for Us * Why Negativity Bias Makes Us All Eeyore * The Author Makes a Confession About the Oscar Pistorius Trial and Confirmation Bias * How to Check Your Biases

Exercise: Identify Your Biases 188

Chapter 16 Understanding Bias in News Media 189

Unintentional Bias, aka When It's By Accident * Intentional Bias, aka When It's Definitely On Purpose * And How to Tell the Difference

Exercise: Can You Spot the Bias? 196

Chapter 17 How to Spot Fake News Articles 202

Titles That Make You Go Click, aka Clickbait * All the Red Flags * Why Trusted Sources Matter

* Exercise: Real or Fake? 216

Chapter 18 73% of People Say They Don't Understand Polling, and Other Fake Stats 222

Thomas Dewey Who? * The Part Where You Learn to Spot Fake Polls

Exercise: Polling Practice 232

Chapter 19 Your Eyes Are Lying: Spotting Fake Photos and Videos 238

The Time a Teen Activist Did Not Rip Up the Constitution * North Korea's Bad Photoshopping Skills * How to Spot Fake Photos * No, This Commercial Airline Didn't Do a 360° Roll * Fake Videos, aka Deep Fakes

Exercise: How Was It Photoshopped? 247

Chapter 20 Memes Aren't News and Other Social-Media Tips 252

The Man Who Jumped to a Lot of Conclusions About Some Buses * Social Media Tips * Political Memes That Fool Us

Exercise: To Trust or Not to Trust? 267

Chapter 21 Managing the Chaos of the Breaking-News Cycle 274

The Day a Mass Shooter Targeted a Concert * What Breaking News Is and Isn't * How to Not Panic

Exercise: Sorting Through Breaking News 281

Chapter 22 Conclusion 288

The Part Where It Takes All of Us

Afterword 292

Fighting a Pandemic and an Infodemic * When Lies Come for Democracy * The Part Where Maybe We're Learning

Acknowledgments 299

Notes 302

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