Fake News, Social Media, Digital Literacy, and Critical Thinking

This week, I took a little break from creating my website and focused on other coursework to which I needed to divert more attention. That being said, we got some exciting topics to talk about in our posiel readings this week that I wanted to touch on.

These things have been at the heart of discussion since the presidential election of Barack Obama and the infamous Donald Trump. In today’s world, the spread of fake news through social media has become increasingly concerning. As a society, we must prioritize digital literacy and critical thinking skills to combat dissemination of false information.

James Bridle’s article “Something Wrong on the Internet” highlights how easily fake news can spread on social media platforms. He discusses the dangers of unmoderated content, which often leads to the proliferation of radical and harmful ideas. Acknowledging that the internet is not a neutral space and social media platforms are not built to prioritize truth or accuracy is crucial. We must develop digital literacy skills to evaluate sources and verify the credibility of information.

Mike Caulfield’s article “Yes, Digital Literacy. But which one?” emphasizes that not all digital literacy is created equal. We must prioritize critical digital literacy, which focuses on the skills necessary to evaluate sources critically and identify fake news. It is crucial to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources, to understand how information is created and circulated, and to be able to identify bias and misinformation.

The recent case of Peiyue Wu’s article, “She Spent a Decade Writing Fake Russian History. Wikipedia Just Noticed,” highlights the need for increased vigilance and awareness regarding the information we consume. The fact that false information existed for over a decade on one of the world’s largest online encyclopedias is a wake-up call for all of us. We must become active participants in the information ecosystem, using critical thinking skills and digital literacy to evaluate sources and verify the accuracy of information.

We must address the spread of fake news on social media platforms through increased digital literacy and critical thinking skills. We must understand the dangers of unmoderated content, prioritize critical digital literacy, and remain vigilant regarding the information we consume. By doing so, we can combat the dissemination of false information and contribute to a more informed and responsible society.