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How to approach problematic information online. A guide for journalists

The internet and social media have presented several challenges for journalism in recent years. Newsrooms today exist in a fragmented environment where consensual reality can no longer be taken for granted. In addition, they compete for users' attention amidst a myriad of content that has forced them to restructure their business model and the topics they cover.

This fragmented and polarised environment has led to the proliferation of problematic information, a category containing inaccurate information, misinformation and disinformation. Knowing the differences between them can help to understand where each comes from and how it circulates in order to cover it responsibly.

This guide responds to the needs identified by Linterna Verde in mentoring and workshops with journalists. It addresses some of the dynamics of manipulation, production, and circulation of problematic information in the digital environment. The guide is divided into three sections: a theoretical section that explains the current situation; a practical section on data analysis tools for social media and research techniques; and a section where we present case studies on Twitter and media outlets.