By the end of this module, the student will be able to…
It is obvious what makes “fake news” and the coronavirus somewhat similar: both spread quickly and widely. While they do not exactly spread the same way (i.e. “fake news” typically gets spread through social media while the coronavirus gets transmitted from person to person through close contact), in our present day, the proliferation of both “fake news” and the coronavirus results in big problems for everyone. What’s even worse is when it’s “fake news” about coronavirus that spreads and reaches thousands of people.
For the next four weeks, your goal is to know everything you need to know about “fake news”. Much like COVID-19, to defeat “fake news” means to prevent oneself from being infected by it. Today, we are always reminded to put face masks on, observe physical distancing, disinfect our surroundings, and keep ourselves fit and healthy. As for “fake news”, Out of The Box has created a 4-step strategy to avoid and protect oneself from it and we call it #IWASFAKE:
The closest thing we can get to a vaccine for “fake news” is increasing our immunity against it. And so, practicing these four steps will go a long way in our fight against “fake news”. But before you learn about each of these steps, it is crucial that you first know the enemy and know it very well.
The rise of “fake news” can be traced to the year 2016 when the United States and the Philippines both held their presidential elections. Hoaxes, rumors, false and misleading content dressed up to look like news articles about political candidates spread like wildfire on social media. This easily became one of the most discussed phenomena in the aftermath of the elections.
How did all these “fake news” spread so quickly and vastly? Did it affect the results of the elections, and how? What are its implications on the public’s perceptions of the media, of the government, and of democracy?
These questions have led to countless research and investigations on “fake news” by the academe, governments, the tech industry, and civil society groups worldwide. From 2016 to today, we’ve seen some breakthroughs and some fallbacks in what has become a global combat against “fake news”. Here are some headlines:
Have you heard about these? While many of these events are significant, these are not nearly enough to show that we have already figured out the “fake news” dilemma. As if we thought things could not get any worse, in 2020, we face an unprecedented global crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has revealed to us how far we still are in solving the “fake news” crisis.
FOR THE NEXT LESSON, we will dive deep into the topic of the COVID-19 Infodemic and the most common “fake news” about the coronavirus.
Misinformation & Disinformation
Practicing Healthy Skepticism
Basic Verification & Reporting
© This learning resource is made available by Out of The Box Media Literacy Initiative under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC 4.0). You can copy and redistribute the material, remix, transform or build upon it so long as you attribute #IWASFAKE as the original source. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. View detailed license information at creativecommons.org.