Fake News and Social Media

Why Know What’s in the News?

Young people, especially teens, often want to be informed about what’s taking place in the news. Knowing what’s in the news, can make young people feel more a part of their community and the world around them, facilitate their learning in areas like government and places of interest and give them a sense of belonging. Knowledge is power and, when coming from reliable sources, meant to be used constructively. However, fake news is running wild and it can be difficult for young minds to navigate.

But What About Fake News?

On the flip side, many parents have had the unfortunate experience of their child viewing fake, distorted and violent news on social media and TV. Unable to discern what’s real and what’s fake, their child experiences feelings of fear, depression, hopelessness and anger.

Social Media Plays a Role in Spreading Fake News

“What’s real, what’s not? With the younger generation’s constant exposure to the deluge of information found online, knowing how to sift out the truth from what’s fake new(s) is crucial.”

People are going beyond what, in the past, would have been considered scary and dangerous to post words and images that invoke fear, confusion, and panic in others. Ideas, messages, images, can be sent at speeds unimaginable to an audience size once thought impossible making control and tracking of information clearly a challenge.

Is Anyone Trying to Stop Fake News?

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have all announced plans to investigate negative and unwanted news but what are these companies really doing to stop the spread of fake news, hate, images that inflame and viral videos that promote anxiety and fear? It’s up to responsible adults to find out.

5 Valuable Tips For Parents On How To Help Kids Navigate and Understand Fake News

>Read news articles from well-known news sources together and decide together if they are real  news or not. Discuss the differences.

>Spend some time going through fake news sites. You will find a long list of untrustworthy websites just by doing a google search.

>For older kids introduce words like hoaxes, gullibility and clickbait

>Discuss what kind of emotions real news versus fake news articles evoke.

>Politics fosters a deluge of non-credible news. Help your child understand why politicians might use fake news, what they use in their ads to persuade viewers to vote for them, and have them be on the alert for bullying found in many campaign ads.

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