How do I combat fake news? Fake news is a topic which I know exists but something I haven’t given much thought about. I like to think I can detect fake news from real news but after learning more about the subject, now I’m not so sure. I took the quiz “Can you spot the fake news headline?” ad received a 4/6 which I thought was pretty good for mostly guessing the responses. It was interesting taking this quiz because the headlines were all absurd and random, I was hoping after the quiz, it would let me know why or why not these headlines were fake. When I read articles found online, I often don’t think about the headline but rather look into the content provided. After completing this quiz trying to spot the fake headlines, I will pay closer attention to what is being said.
I had fun with the first quiz so I decided to try the “Can you spot the troll?” quiz and I spotted 6/8 trolls! Some of the profiles I incorrectly spotted were tricky since there is a person behind the profile but its whether or not that person is troll. I have personally been trolled by fake people on my Facebook pretending to be my family when in fact, I never even know their name!! After the quiz, it gave me a brief explanation on what it meant to be a troll and it wrote:
“The vast majority of social media accounts you will engage with online are real people voicing genuine opinions. Be wary, however, because professional trolls do exist and they aren’t necessarily the accounts you may think they are. Many professional trolls want to be your friend; they want to pull you in a new and sometimes divisive direction. Be wary of who you friend online and which messages you decide to repost. On social media, just like in real life, not all strangers have your best interest at heart.”
The third and final quiz I took was “Break the fake” and I scored a 4/8 on the quiz. I realized that I’m not as quick as I thought I was in spotting fake news. When reading anything on social media, I take it with a grain of salt because most topics I don’t know enough about without researching whether or not it is legit. Taking advice from NCTE framework this quiz helped me to examine the rights, responsibilities, and ethical implications of the use and creation of information.
As empowered learners engage in literacy practices, they need opportunities to move from consumers to producers of content. More specifically, learners need to move from content consumers to content curators to content creators. These stages do not have to operate in a sequence, nor should they be mutually exclusive as learners fully utilize the reader/writer nature of digital texts.
Some questions I will ask myself while reading online will be:
- Do learners review information shared online with a perspective of healthy skepticism? (consume)
- Do learners evaluate content they find online before sharing with others? (curate)
- Do learners evaluate multimedia sources for the effects of visuals, sounds, hyperlinks, and other features on the text’s meaning or emotional impact? (create)
These were the trolls I grew up knowing, not online hidden identities…