To improve people's ability to think critically towards all information to know what information is fake and what is not, assumes that some information is indeed false. In our current society, truth is often perceived as subjective. Therefore, you need to use a system that does not classify any given work as true or false. I suggest using a spectrum of color. One simply cannot say orange is wrong and purple is right. Each color should be defined simply by which value/s one holds highest.
I suggest using a well established international research company to help define of color. Hofstede Insights has researched cultural dimensions for 40+ years and has classified 6 values as distinct qualifiers. These 6 dimensions reflect what each individual believes about power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence.
Sweden holds certain cultural values such as the quality of life, striving for consensus, one should work in order to live and sympathy for the unfortunate. In Japan, very different cultural values are held which can be seen as nearly opposite. The need to excel is high, one should live in order to work, the big and fast are beautiful and the successful are admired.
Often your understanding of the world has come from your culture. Do you believe the group should decide? You are purple. Do you believe God decides? You are yellow. Perhaps you also believe your highest purpose is to take care of the environment. You are a few notches toward orange, yet still yellow. Either way, one cannot simply say one is wrong and the other is right. It is arrogant to assume that space of judgement. It is dangerous to give any person or government that place of judgement. If we say truth is relative, we need to be consistent with that belief even if it is uncomfortable or hard.
Attaching color to values is a good idea but it doesn’t help us decide what is true. Once again, relativity complicates the issue. Who is to say that evidence is good and experience is bad? We have objectivity but frequently experience can counter the evidence. Therefore, I suggest using a gradient of opacity to reflect the difference between hard data collection and human experience.
For example, A research document proving the effectiveness of chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer would be opaque blue. A blog written by a cancer survivor who used food as treatment would be translucent blue. In politically hot issues like accusations of rape, days before a hotly contested vote, one simply cannot say if it has happened or not before a vote. Those news items should be qualified as opaque.
The current trend of spamming users with a constant barrage of politically weighted ideas is an effort to sway public opinion (usually before an election). The attempt to sway public opinion in mass is absolutely not a new phenomenon. However, the proliferation of online lives has expedited the process. Today we can know about a tsunami in the Philippines within minutes after it happened. Before widespread internet usage it is questionable how much/when that information would have made it to the other side of the world. Likewise, a hot topic about a public figure can go viral within minutes.
This concept is a living and moving system which allows for those articles to be reallocated color/space with time. Time can reveal the truth in a way no pop up ad or app can compete with. This system does not offer a quick fix or an emotional reward for those seeking the self righteous platitudes. Nonetheless, it does offer a long term, bigger picture option to encourage individual users/readers to learn to think critically about the information they believe.
Once you have this grid in place, the user needs to know where they stand. What color am I? Once a user knows which preferences they have, it immediately opens them up to the understanding that there are about 7 billion other ways (or gradients of color) to understand the world around them. This system would then categorize any piece of information (research development, blogspots, newspaper articles) by the appropriate color and opacity.
When a user reads a news article they can click to see what color/opacity the article is classified as. Likewise, the user has a quick link to a similar article from an opposing color. This system would awaken the users understanding but also provide a system to encourage hearing other perspectives with the goal of providing the space to start real critical thinking (as opposed to the current straw man self dialog we often hear).
Realizing the Idea
This idea requires a whole system of classification which would require some serious AI.
It meets the users need for identity, (finding my tribe mentality) clarity (where the author/article stands) and creativity (by providing assistance in suggesting material for thought).
The use of color and opacity. You can get a quick glance at color and understand quickly. Although understanding the idea in process is difficult, the finished product would be an easy at a glance understanding.