Secure Internet: How To Protect Students From Fake News

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Modern schoolchildren and students grow up in and form their personalities in the era when the ability to search and analyze information has become one of the most vital skills. Facing a never-ending stream of information available on the Internet, it is also important to understand how to protect oneself from lies, gain critical thinking skills, and achieve the most undistorted perception of the world. Why is it important? In accordance with this study, 82% of young people confirmed that the Internet is the main source of information for them and 64% find out about the events in the world only from the network!

Who And How Is Fighting With Lies On The Internet?

There are several organizations that strive to increase students’ ability to distinguish truth from fiction. One of them is the News Literacy Project community. It offers online courses and useful teaching materials on this topic for teachers. On the official website of the Global Digital Citizen Foundation, you can also find some practical manuals for lessons, lectures, and seminars for any level, from elementary school to college students.

There is also another tool, which is much more fun! The GameLab studio has launched a special game called Factitious that aims at determining the reliability of this or that news and giving feedback to the user, explaining why a particular fact is worth or not worth trusting.
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How To Identify Fake News?

There are several questions that you need to ask yourself in order not to be deceived:

1)   In what form the information is presented?

If the text is written in a non-literary language, contains swearing or inappropriate jokes, then, most likely, such text contains more subjective opinions than facts.

2)   Is there a date of publication of the news specified?

The body of the valid text should contain a clear chronological framework that would indicate when the described event occurred and, as a rule, trustworthy articles always contain the date of publication.

3)   Is the website where the article is posted trusted?

The names of news portals with already established reputation have long been known to the public (some of them are CNN, National Geographic, and others). Well-known and trusted news portals and official websites of TV companies can be quite reliable if the content of the article does not cause suspicion.

4)   Is the author specified?

Authors, especially those who have already gained certain reputation do not publish their articles anonymously and are ready to take responsibility for the information that they provide to the reader.

5)   How is the title of the article formed?

Titles that use overly emotional punctuation, caps lock or do not include any specific data about the topic of the article are often false.

All of these questions will definitely come in handy and, also, you can verify the authenticity of information using some special services like Fake News Watch, International Fact-Checking Network, and similar.

Why Is It Important?

Another research has shown that 92% of schoolchildren and students spend at least a few hours a day surfing the Web! Thus, it has become a reliable source of news for them. Even an adult is not always able to distinguish lies from the truth. What can we say about children who due to the lack of experience and knowledge take everything they see on the Web for granted?

There was an interesting experiment conducted by Stanford University. Several young people were offered to read several facts (some of which were fake), and the results have shown that 82% of the interviewed did not distinguish false news from the real ones. Thus, saving modern students from fake news published on the Internet is a necessary protective measure, which we all must take to avoid global disinformation!

 

Besides, it is especially important for college students! Distinguishing invalid sources is the necessary skill for completing your assignments. Often, writing an academic work requires conducting a research and gathering valid information, which will be quite difficult if you don’t know where to look for it! However, if you have faced difficulties with your research, you can obtain expert help at EduBirdie, where pro writers will prepare a top-level work for you!

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