About 5 years ago I upset my niece. She was around 20 years old, a college student at the time (I have a much older sister), and adamant that smoking pot was in no way harmful. I suspected her argument was primarily motivated by her own habit, but as a former lawyer I enjoyed the debate. I said that I thought her blanket statement was inaccurate and wondered out loud where she got her information. The conversation petered out and she left the room only to storm back in five minutes later and slam a laptop in front of me. "Here!" she said. "This website says it's natural and perfectly fine for you." I immediately looked at the website's name - it was a site for pot aficionados and started laughing. (She did not appreciate that). "That's your source?" I asked. "Have you considered that they have a vested interest in seeing pot as harmless?"
She looked at me dumb-founded. She had never heard this age old advice: Consider the source.
But it turns out she is not alone. Recent research out of Stanford shows that students, even as digitally savvy as they are, have trouble judging the credibility of information online.
Which also might explain a lot about our recent election results.