In this section we explore the phenomenon of fake news, that is, media which is custom made to fool you. In a digital world, spotting online deception requires knowledge and a critical disposition. Some hoaxes are easy to spot, whereas others are more sophisticated. In this section, we will investigate what you can do to identify and protect yourself from fake news. As digital citizens, it is also important that we do not propagate these guises by sharing stories we know to be fake.
- Fake news
- Fake news refers to false information distributed under the guise of news reporting. It should not be confused with intentional satire which is intended to humour rather than mislead.
- “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief (Oxford Living Dictionaries n.d..).”
Fake news quiz and Factitious game
Evan Annet is a journalist and digital content editor with the Globe and Mail. In the following article, Evan explains what fake news is and provides a few practical tips on how to spot fake news. The article concludes with an online quiz, and you’re encouraged to use Google to verify the authenticity of the examples.
- Read: Annet, E. (2017, May 23). What is ‘fake news,’ and how can you spot it? Try our quiz. The Globe and Mail.
Bob Hone and Maggie Farley, a JoLT fellow and experienced journalist, developed a game targeting middle and high school students to discern fake news. The game presents examples of news articles. Players should swipe right or click on “✔” if you think the article is real, or swipe left or click on “X” if you think the article is fake.
- Play a few rounds of Factitious
How did you go with the online quiz and Factitious game? Share your thoughts by posting a comment on WENotes below.
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The purpose of these resources is to serve as a catalyst for your reflection on the future implications of fake news for learning in a digital age and your own area of work. In the following learning pathway, web literacy for fact-checking, we will focus on digital skills to spot fake news.
- Wales, J. (2017, February 3). With the power of online transparency, together we can beat fake news. The Guardian.
- Fake Obama speech created using artificial intelligence. (2017, July 4). Stuff.
- nancywtech. (2016, December 29). Digital Literacy and the “Fake News” Epidemic. (Blog reflection by former teacher and middle school librarian).
- What are the implications of fake news for learning in a digital age?
- How will the phenomenon of fake news and post-truth affect your area of work or interest in the future?
- Oxford Living Dictionaries. (n.d.). Post-truth. Definition.