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Media Literacy: Social Media

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media.

Video: Eli Pariser: Beware of Online Filter Bubbles

How to Spot a Fake Twitter Post

Check the account history of the source. Two red flags are: the number of posts and how long the account has been active. If it claims to be a well know source(like CNN or CBS) and only has a few posts in its history that is a clue. If it's a well know source and the account has only been active a short time that is another red flag.

Images of an event are often reused to deceive people. You can check if an image has been used before on a reverse image search service like TinEye.

The Twitter website offers a lot of information about verifying Twitter accounts. Check out the page here. The first rule on this page is

BBC - How Fake News Plagued 2017


Picture of Hurricane Irma fake news

Fake News on Facebook


Fake news stories abound on Facebook. Most of the postings are produced by scammers looking to make money on the number of clicks these stories receive. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, says they are working on a way to weed out these stories. In the meantimes, some creative people have come up with solutions of their own.

The Washington Post ran a story on November 11, 2016 about a group of college students who developed an algorithm that authenticates what is real and what is fake on Facebook. Read about these problem solvers at this link.

A programmer named Daniel Sieradski has developed a Chrome extension called the B.S.Detector. Read about this hoax detector at this link.

How to outsmart fake news!

"Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true. It seems so simple, but if everyone knew that, Facebook and Google wouldn't have to pull bogus news sites from their advertising algorithms and people wouldn't breathlessly share stories that claim Donald Trump is a secret lizard person or Hillary Clinton is an android in a pantsuit."

In his recent article, A.J. Willingham gives the top ten ways to determine if the news story is fake.

  1. Does the story come from a strange URL?
  2. Does the headline match the information in the article
  3. Is it a recent story, or an old one that has been re-purposed?
  4. Are the supporting videos or photos verifiable?
  5. Does the article cite primary sources?
  6. Does the story feature quotes, and are they traceable?
  7. Is it the only outlet reporting the story?
  8. Is your own bias getting in the way?
  9. Has it been debunked by a reputable fact-checking organization?
  10. Is the host on a list of unreliable news websites?

Bot or Not

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