All information has a purpose and an intended audience. Ask yourself who the intended audience is and what is the purpose of the information.
CommonSense.org recommends a series of five questions to ask yourself
The news you see might not be the same as the news your neighbor sees. Much of the information we see is delivered by online platforms that are driven by algorithms predicting what we want to see. Broaden your news by intentionally seeking out news that doesn't come to you through a filter. Click on (and read) news from across the spectrum to disrupt the algorithms that shape what is delivered to you.
It's important to be aware that we bring our own biases to the information we encounter. Confirmation bias is a well-established tendency to search for and interpret information in a way that aligns with what we already believe. This bias is so strong that psychologists have found that pain centers of the brain are engaged when we encounter information contrary to our deeply held convictions (Kaplan, Gimbel, & Harris, 2016).
Coupled with algorithmic bias that tends to bring us information that we're predisposed to agree with, it's easy to end up in an echo chamber and let down our guard about fact-checking information that "feels right." That's why it's important to apply fact-checking practices early in the process of encountering new information.