Showing posts with label fake news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fake news. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Spot the Troll - Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?

 

Spot the Troll is a quiz game that I recently learned about from Lee LeFever at Common Craft. Spot the Troll was developed by Clemson University's Media Forensics Lab as a way to educate people about deceptive social media accounts. 

Spot the Troll presents players with eight social media profiles. Based on the clues in the profiles players have to decide if the social media profile is genuine or a fake designed to spread misinformation. Players get instant feedback after making a guess at whether each account is real or fake. Whether or not the player is correct or incorrect Spot the Troll provides an explanation the signs that the account was real or fake. 

I played Spot the Troll this morning and found it to be a little trickier than I expected. It was also a bit more detailed than I expected. 

Applications for Education 
Before you have your students play Spot the Troll you should play the game yourself. Some of the profiles include content that might not be appropriate for your students. I definitely would not have kids younger than high school age play the game. That said, playing Spot the Troll could be an informative activity for high school students.

If you play through the game and find that some of the profiles aren't appropriate for your classroom, consider using some excerpts from the game to create your own lesson on spotting fake social media accounts. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Factitious - A Game That Tests Your Ability to Spot Fake News

Factitious is a game for testing your skill at identifying fake and misleading news stories. The game was developed by the American University Game Lab and the American University's School of Communication. I learned about the game last month when Larry Ferlazzo featured it and I have since shared it in a couple of professional development workshops. It was a hit in both workshops in which I shared it with teachers.

To play Factitious simply go to the site and select quick start. You'll then see an article appear on the screen. Read through the article, click the source listed at the bottom, and then select either the green check mark or red X to indicate whether or not you think the article is a real news story. After you make your selection you'll get instant feedback and an explanation of how you can tell if the article was a real or fake news story.

Factitious does offer the option to create an account to save your progress in a game, but you don't need to create an account in order to play the game in "quick start" mode.

Applications for Education
Factitious could be a great game to have students play at the conclusion of a larger lesson about evaluating the credibility of websites. If you don't want to have students play the game on their own, you could print the articles listed in the game and use them as part of lesson that you teach to your class.

Friday, January 12, 2018

What a Lobster Can Teach You About Fake News

Some of you may recall that just before Christmas an ESPN radio show fell for a fake news story about a high school basketball game in Maine being cancelled when the ball got stuck behind the wood stove in the gym. That story came from a website called New Maine News. It's not just big media outlets that fall for the fake news stories on New Maine News. It seems that almost every story posted on the site or corresponding Facebook page has at least one comment from someone who thinks that the satirical site is a real news website. That is probably what motivated this ridiculous story about a talking lobster complaining about the blurring of lines between real and fake news.

In the story Line Between Real and Fake Maine News Increasingly Blurred Says Magic 8-foot Tall Talking Lobster a talking lobster named Ol' Nick points out a couple of the reasons why fake news stories spread so quickly on social media. Ol' Nick tells us,
"People see a headline, or a link, and it confirms something they want to believe is true, so they share it as fact." 
Ol' Nick also shares this bit of advice,
“Is it too good to be true? Does it instantly appeal to something you believe in an extreme way? Click on the link. Check out the source. It might be a joke site and the first story you find is something absolutely absurd.”
Applications for Education
Read the entire story on New Maine News and you'll find a couple of other pieces that serve as reminders to fact-check the headlines and stories that we see shared online.

Before sharing the lobster story, have your students read the story that fooled ESPN and see if they can identify whether or not the story is true. Then follow-up with the story featuring the 8 Foot Tall Talking Lobster.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Wayback Machine - Take a Look at the Evolution of the Web

The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine is one of the resources that I have included in my presentation about search strategies and fake news. I include it because it is a tool that can be used to see how a website or a specific webpage has changed over time. As is demonstrated in my video embedded below, you can use the Wayback Machine to see how a website looked and read the text of pages as they were originally published.



Another interesting way to use the Wayback Machine is to look at how major news websites reported on significant events in late 20th Century and in the 21st Century. Not only does the Wayback Machine show you the text, it may also show you images that may have since been removed.