How do we beat Fake News?

May 31st, 2018 by CIVIX
Researchers at Stanford University sat three groups of people down in front of computers. They gave Stanford students, professional historians, and “fact-checkers” five minutes to determine which of two websites was more credible. 

The first site was from the American Academy of Pediatrics, an internationally respected organization. The second belonged to the American College of Pediatricians, a lobby group dedicated to advocating against the adoption of children by same-sex couples. 

Here are the results: 65% of the Stanford students could not determine the credible website within five minutes. Fifty percent of the professional historians could not determine the credible website within five minutes.

But 100% of the fact-checkers got the right answer … and they did it within seconds.

Do you know what the fact-checkers did that the others didn’t? (Hint: it is ridiculously easy, and everyone should be doing it.)

Watch this video we’ve just released to find out: 

And there’s more where that came from. This week, CIVIX launched NewsWise, a news literacy initiative that has been made available to the 2,800 Ontario schools participating in our Student Vote program. 

NewsWise aims to help students understand the role of journalism in a democracy, and develop the habits and skills to find and filter information online. It was developed in partnership with the Canadian Journalism Foundation, with seed funding from Google.

The spread of mis- and disinformation online is one of the most urgent issues facing democracies today, and being able to determine what is fact or fiction has become an essential skill of citizenship in the digital age. 

This new program represents a big move for CIVIX into the news and information literacy space, and we are diving in. We are working to expand this effort significantly over the next year, with new resources and teacher training, as we gear up for the federal election in 2019. 

Lesson plansvideos, and an animated ‘scroll story‘ that introduces the problem of fake news are all housed on this website we’ve built for the project:

Posted in English, News |

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