Fake News and Misinformation
|Above copied from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever|
The research shows that people are actually exposed to more diverse content on Facebook and social media than on traditional media like newspapers and TV. That's because you most likely only read a few newspapers or watch a few TV networks for news (and therefore only see a few viewpoints), whereas on Facebook almost everyone has friends with different viewpoints. Even if 90% of your friends vote for the same candidates, come from the same background or belong to the religion as you, that still means 10% of your friends will have different views and you will see those viewpoints in your feed.The bottom line: Facebook is really a social site where we share photos, thoughts, victories and even pain. A social site cannot really play the role of arbiter of truth. There is of course, journalism, which seeks to correctly inform people, but with powerful interests that appear to control mass media, people are searching for alternatives. For this reason, what happens inside classrooms in elementary and high schools becomes even more important. Carlson wrote two decades ago in the journal Teaching of Psychology:
Good decisions depend on starting with good information and then reasoning with it logically. Texts and instruction in courses in critical thinking by philosophers and psychologists focus almost exclusively on how we should reason with information, and they provide little or no help in guiding students toward selecting sources of credible information. I argue that we necessarily depend on others for most of the important information we use and that a major payoff of good education is learning whom to believe. Instruction in criteria to use in selecting valid sources should be an explicit and important part of instruction in critical thinking.All throughout my basic education, I only came across one teacher who showed me what a valid source looked like. We should do more. For a child, whom to believe is often a parent or a teacher. It is our job then to help children find valid sources of information.