Best Of The Web
“Here’s a New Year’s resolution — let’s teach 1 million teenagers how to spot fake news online by 2020.
Achieving this objective is vital in keeping our republic the strongest in the world. 2019 must be the year that we stop ignoring that our democracy, while still the standard, is becoming ill and requires our attention.
That’s why this year MediaWise, which is funded by Google.org, will be teaching a new generation of kids to become skilled evaluators of digital content.
And it’s truly needed — the data and anecdotal evidence reads like a poor medical screening.
How bad is it?
Manipulated photos and videos flood social media, hoaxers are able to compete with legitimate news sources, and foreign countries are attacking our country with disinformation. It’s no wonder teens are so confused as to what to believe online.
It has reached a chronic level, too. In a 2016 study from Stanford University, researchers evaluated students’ ability to assess information sources. The researchers described the results as “dismaying,” “bleak” and “[a] threat to democracy.”
MediaWise wants to change this, though. As part of the Google News Initiative, it aims to teach 1 million teenagers how to spot fake news on the internet by 2020, with at least half of them coming from underserved or low-income communities.
“If misinformation on the internet is a disease,” says Katy Byron, editor and program manager of MediaWise, “then MediaWise is like the Red Cross.””
JJ Editor's Picks
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"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
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"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"