Digital Literacy and Fake News
Session 1 of Young Digital Leaders project called Digital Literacy explores how to recognise fake news, distinguish between fact and opinion, and understand online echo chambers, as well as how young people can respond appropriately to contentious content online;
Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to produce clear information through writing and other forms of communication on various digital platforms. Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. Instead, it builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. Recently the biggest challenge of Digital Literacy that has arisen is how to recognize Fake news.
Fake news are articles or posts that appear to be factual, but which contain intentional disinformation with the intention of attracting viewership, influencing people and/or deceiving them.
Those who create fake news can be motivated by several reasons:
- By financial incentives (often the advertising revenue that sensationalist stories can generate),
- by political goals (a desire to influence opinion for or against a group, party or candidate) or
- by personal motives (a desire to spread mischief).
Fake news stories are designed to appear legitimate, often adopting the appearance of mainstream news sources. The negative impact these fake stories can have is significant. They can undermine trust in institutions, encourage division and conflict between groups, and damage social trust.
Within a partnership between ISD and A Rocca, financed and promoted by Google (Brussels), A Rocca as a project partner conducted pilot testing in Italy of Young Digital Leaders – Europe-wide pilot project that aims to empower young people through digital citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy skills, beyond the classroom, so that they can grow up safe, responsible digital leaders.
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