In this day and time, it is critical for adults to educate the younger generation on how to spot fake news. The school system and parents should partake in educating children about the importance of learning how news is created and how to evaluate its credibility.
With the internet being such a powerful tool that any person can access, it is important to educate children on how to fictional information.
In the school system an estimated of 3,300 educators from all 50 states in the US each year participate in different curriculums that teach kids how to distinguish facts from fiction.
“When I was teaching we would set up scenarios for the children to participate in. We would give them two different news examples from the internet and see if the students could tell if it was real or fake. It’s hard in this day and time because many individual especially the youth, feel like if they can find it on Google, then it must be true, which is not always the case”, said Crystal Hall former Cumberland county teacher
A study, just published in the American Educational Research Journal, was the first of its kind to demonstrate that civic media literacy education can improve the degree to which students can distinguish between evidence-based and inaccurate online news stories.
“It takes time but if we can start training our children at an early age, the chances decrease as they get older not to just believe any situation they see on TV but to take the time to investigate. As a teacher and a parent investigation is the key to helping anybody (including adults) know whether a news story is fact or fiction”, stated Hall.
According to AARP website Consumer Protection program, here are some ways you can detect if news is fake or not:
Consider the source. The so-called mainstream media may not be in everyone’s good graces these days, but by and large, such time-tested names as the Associated Press, New York Times and NBC can be reliably trusted to check their facts before reporting something.
Check for quality. Many fake news websites do not even try to do things properly, eschewing such traditions as proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
Check to see if anyone else is reporting the same thing. It doesn’t mean the story is not true if they aren’t, but with even reputable news sites regularly “borrowing” and rewriting stories from other sites there is rarely — if ever — such a thing as an exclusive or “scoop” in the internet age.
Don’t stop at the headline. In fake news items, the facts often do not even pretend to back up the central premise and the sources cited tend to be less than credible.
“I always tell students, ‘Fact check! Fact check! Fact check!’” said Hall. “Over and over again to get it through their heads that its important to check different sources. If you can find that one story on multiple sources then 9 out of 10 times, it’s not true.”