“Fake news” has been around since the final war of the Roman Republic (that’s in 30BC). It is when information is used as a weapon, to support and settle dissidence, or to simply, discredit real sources (The Telegraph, 2017). Before the rise of the internet, information distribution costs more and it is only effective with the presence of trust (which takes years to build)!
With the rise of social media, the barriers to creating fake news have been undone – allowing anyone to create and distribute information. So, how do we validate what is real online? Check the video below out to find out how:
Evaluating the source based on the 5 criteria (author, audience, review process, currency, and perspective) is only limited to one’s digital literacy.
It is the ability to use, create and share digital content safely and responsibly. Digital literacy includes media, data and information literacy. Working together, they can provide an individual the best evaluation process.
Fig 1.1 | Self-produced Media Literacy infographic using Canva
Infomation literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed infomation.
Data literacy is the ability to collect, manage, evaluate and apply data.
However the digital literacy of an individual can be affected by the digital differences one faces. This in turn, affects the ability to evaluate the sources – evaluating what is real from fake.
“…the solution to fake news isn’t better technology; it’s better people.”
– Standage, 2017
Providing people with digital knowledge and ability can allow them to be better internet users. However, it all boils down to one’s character – to create/distribute wrong infomation. Taking an example from the news hoax Facebook and Google faced from the Las Vegas shooting, where many internet users shared wrong information posted by satire/ hate blogs. This could be prevented if users and organizations validate their sources before posting.
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Media literacy – Wikiversity. 2017. Media literacy – Wikiversity. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Media_literacy. [Accessed 15 November 2017].
The Telegraph. 2017. Fake news: What exactly is it â and can it really swing an election?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/fake-news-exactly-has-really-had-influence/. [Accessed 15 November 2017].
YouTube. 2017. How to Evaluate Sources – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ122WakNDY. [Accessed 15 November 2017].
http://www.imda.gov.sg. 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.imda.gov.sg/community/consumer-education/digital-literacy. [Accessed 15 November 2017].
1843. 2017. The true history of fake news | 1843. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.1843magazine.com/technology/rewind/the-true-history-of-fake-news. [Accessed 15 November 2017].