All About Kids
7 Tips to Educate Kids and Spot Fake News
As more people try to revise history in the era of social media, how do you help your children determine what is fake and what is fact?
We live in an era dominated by social media. Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media tools have become the go-to for many including our kids. This was heightened even more when kids stayed at home due to the pandemic. Social media became their form of entertainment and news. But in the past years, social media has become toxic. It has been weaponized by greedy people who want to revise history for their selfish intentions. The weaponization allowed them to revise what they believe is the “truth,” which is consumed by our children and leads to what is called fake news.
So how do we spot what is real and what is not? Here are five ways how to educate your kids and help them spot fake news as early as now.
Does the article or story come from a news source you’ve never heard of?
In an article on National Geographic Kids, Associated Press social editor Eric Carvin said it’s important that the stories your kids read are from reputable news organizations.
“If you haven’t heard of a publication, do some research on how trustworthy they are before you take what they say as fact. Have they been accused of publishing fake news before? Then they may not be reliable,” Carvin said.
In addition, it’s important to check the URL of the article. The URL can determine the source of the story.
Does the article have key witnesses and resource persons?
Carvin said that it’s important that the story has credible witnesses, resource persons, or sources to back up the story.
Is the headline too good to be true?
One of the biggest mistakes is that people only read the headline and not the whole article. Make sure that you teach your kids to read beyond the headline so that they understand what the story is all about. This will help you determine whether to pass the information to others.
Does the website have an About Us page?
Many websites have an About Us page where it details the beginnings of the company and its officers. Now if it doesn’t, chances are news coming from it is questionable.
Are other news sites reporting about it or have news related to it?
Reporters tend to outdo each other on getting scoops but there are related stories to what’s been reported. This is where thorough reading and research come in to see if there are stories related to the story that came out. If there are none, then the story is highly questionable.
Moreover, look out for red flags such as glaring grammatical errors, dates, and sensational photos—which are often used as click-bait graphics. It helps to look if the headline and story use exaggerated words as well.
Are the graphics and videos reliable?
It’s very important to help your kids in determining the videos and photos circulating online. Technology is so advanced that people have been using deep fake technology to manipulate people’s faces on others. There are various tools online that can help spot photo and video manipulation to help you determine it.
Help your child spot what is fact and what is fake
Education still plays a vital role in a child’s growth and in helping with school work. And the questions they ask are crucial. Help them develop by testing their knowledge. There are a lot of online tests on spotting fake news, which increases their chances of developing critical thinking. When in doubt, seek experts. Plus, don’t forget to be fact-checkers yourselves.
Educate and help your child learn the right way
We often remind our kids to study, learn, and apply it when the time comes. But it’s important for them to know what is right and wrong, too. So much information is available thanks to technology but we must help them decipher what is real and what is simply just noise. This is to avoid brainwashing and making the same mistakes again.