“It’s time to move past fake news,” suggests an August 30, 2019 editorial in the Toronto Star, which explains the need to amend or change the terminology, instead labeling made-up information as disinformation. The article points out that, while there has always been made up or exaggerated information, our contemporary digital world provides easy and efficient ways to spread disinformation.
Fake news is a misnomer. There is no “news” in it. And the term has become mere shorthand to dismiss anything with which the user of the phrase disagrees.
Quoting scholars including Kathleen Hall Jamieson, at the University of Pennsylvania, and David Runciman at Cambridge University, the Toronto Star editorial writers note that the digital revolution allows people to target various groups with disinformation. Moreover, the digital precision and speed of social media make it easier to challenge the cultural norms of democracy. Sometimes these challenges are designed to make people understand even less about democratic institutions. Continue reading “The Word Fake Really Can’t Describe the Word News”→
Do you find yourself nervous and at wits end about all the problems with social media and kids? Do you dread hearing the next news report about kids, screens, and digital addiction because it feels too close to home? Are you regularly worried about the intensity of your own digital activities?
Few people will argue with the notion that our digital world needs tweaking. With data collecting running amock, hackers breaking into corporations around the world, bad actors using social media for espionage, parents’ worrying about screen time, and our personal privacy and information challenged day in and day out, people tend to panic about their kids and themselves. But panic is nothing new. Continue reading “Panic & Fear About Technology — Especially Social Media”→
It looks like anti-vax misinformation, promoted over the last several years on social media, is suddenly the focus of the robust challenges that will be needed to help people understand the dangers of going without immunizations.
The challenges to the scientific information on vaccinations and scientific knowledge offer a real-life learning opportunity, one that parents and educators can use to help young people understand the perils of distorted information, the power of social media to distort facts, and the need for reliable digital sources. The video below, Fool House Rock, is a resource to help people learn about some of the reasons why individuals believe vaccination misinformation on social media. Continue reading “Misinformation Does Not Have to Rule”→
I am having great fun with Factitious, a quiz that tests my ability to identify real news (as well as the fake stuff). It’s a resource that can help middle and high school kids fine-tune media their literacy skills, guiding them to figure out the truthfulness (or lack of truthfulness) of a news story. Oh, and maybe it can help adults, too.
Developed collaboratively by JoLT and the AU Game Lab, two organizations at the American University in Washington, DC, the quiz highlights news stories that have appeared in print and asks players to read and evaluate them. At the bottom of each story is a button to click to identify the source of the story. With these two bits of information, players decide whether the news story is true or false. The game indicates whether an answer is correct or incorrect, and then provides a description of the news source, explaining whether it’s known for false or reliable information. Continue reading “Distinguish True vs. Fake News With Factitious Quiz”→
The Media Literacy community is dedicated and passionate about its work — but not according to danah boyd (yes she spells her name this way).
I’ve just read her article, Did Media Literacy Backfire? and honestly, I am puzzled. Boyd aptly describes today’s problems with unsubstantiated information and dramatic cultural divides, but she goes on to blame media literacy.
Medialit has no causal relationship with the cultural issues that divide us. In fact, if there is any connection between today’s digital information and cultural communication problems it’s that we don’t have nearly enough school literacy programs to help all students learn how to deconstruct and consume media.
If you shake your head in frustration when you get suspicious offers from various parts of the world that ask for money and offer to share profits in return, this 2015 Ted Talk given by comedian and writer James Veitch, Please note that he does not use his personal email account to do this…
Laugh, and then keep deleting any of those emails that get through your spam filter.