fake news
Photo by Nijwam Swargiary on Unsplash

Fake news. Disinformation. Misinformation. We see it all and so do our students.

We can choose to ignore it or we, as educators, can help students see what is real, what is fake, and what is somewhere in-between.

Kimberly Rues writes as she tries to get a better understanding of fake news herself:

Eating the proverbial elephant one bite at a time seems like a great place to begin, but which bite to take first? I would propose that we might begin by steeping ourselves in definitions that allow us to speak with clarity in regards to the types of misleading information. Developing a common vocabulary, if you will.

In my quest to deeply understand the elephant on the menu, I dug into this infographic from the European Association for Viewers Interests which took me on a tour of ten types of misleading news—propaganda, clickbait, sponsored content, satire and hoax, error, partisan, conspiracy theory, pseudoscience, misinformation and bogus information. Of course, I recognized those terms, but it allowed me to more clearly articulate the similarities and differences in text and images that fit these descriptions.

My first instinct is to keep bringing us all back to the subject of digital citizenship (which is just good citizenship in a digital world) but I know I’m still a small voice in a big world.

Also: here’s one of my favorite tools to help recognize media bias.