Real or Fake Online Information?
Date posted: December 6, 2016
Young people may be used to gathering information online, but are they are skilled telling if it’s true or not?
A new study from Stanford has shown the middle school, high school and college students have difficulty evaluating online sources of information. Started over a year ago, before the current focus on fake news, the study asked students to evaluate information presented in tweets, posts, comments and online articles. Over 7,800 students across the United States participated. The results shocked researchers.
At every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation: middle school students unable to tell the difference between an advertisement and a news story; high school students taking at face value a cooked-up chart from the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee; college students credulously accepting a .org top-level domain name as if it were a Good Housekeeping seal. – Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew.
To read more, click NPR’s Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability to Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds.
Click here for the executive summary of Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.
What can we do to evaluate online information? How do professional fact-checkers approach online information? Read Why Students Can’t Google Their Way to the Truth: Fact-checkers and students approach websites differently.