Fake News

November 25, 2020 0 By Brandon Rumford

Fake news is a bigger problem than ever before due to social media and how information is spread. Everyone has that friend on Facebook sharing articles that just don’t seem accurate. It is because information is so easily accessible and so easily shared today that causes fake news to spread like wildfire. We know that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet, but it’s not enough to just be skeptical about what you see. There is so much information from seemingly reliable sources, that are still not entirely true. As teachers we need to inform students and ensure that they will not fall prey to the fake news spread online.

Teaching about digital literacy should start at a fairly young age since today, many young children have an online presence. In my grade range of high school, I would hope that students already practice digital literacy and I would be able to just help them practice. Whether it be what we did in class and just see examples of real and fake news, or take an example from the article “How do we teach students to identify fake news?” and teach students to identify bias in media. Like we talked about in class, different news stations will report differently on the same topic, based on whether their more democratic or republican. And the same thing applies to Canadian news stations. Continuing on the topic of bias in media, it is not only the bias of the one presenting the information that matters, but the bias of the one receiving said information. In the article “It’s Easier To Call A Fact A Fact When It’s One You Like, Study Finds”, a study shows that a persons bias will affect what we believe to be true. This is exactly how fake news through media spreads, because when the media tells people what they want to hear, they are more inclined to believe it.

One thing we need to teach students is also a goal of the NCTE and that is that delivering inaccurate information is dangerous. We need to not only be wary in what were sharing online, but also correcting the mistakes we see online. And as the article “Developing Critical Literacies: What We Need to Know in a “Fake News” World” talks about, this fake news is easier to fake than ever before. With deepfakes and a new program potentially allowing people to “photoshop” voices. Fake news and fake media will not only be more widespread, but much more difficult to spot. And it is our job to do what we can to teach students about the digital literacy and the spread of fake news online.