I am not exactly part of the “Sandwich Generation” because I do not care for elderly relatives, but we have been in charge of our parentals’ technology for at least a decade… and while our 14-year-old son is starting to compete with our knowledge on the subject, we have been on his case for years about understanding the media he was consuming from the very minute he got an iPhone. Media literacy has been a crucial part of our parenting strategies, for sure.
Dex used to love this app called iFunny. It pretty much just shares goofy memes all day long, thus the name. But he would tell me something he read there as “fact” almost every day… so we continually – and I mean continually – would ask him, “Did you look that up? How do you know that is true?”
Finally, he would bring things up differently.
“I haven’t had a chance to research it, but this is interesting…”
“I verified this already; check out this story about x, y, x…”
So, yeah, I have had this post brewing for over a year, at least.
What’s The Deal With Fake News?
Part of the fallout from the 2016 election has been calls (or rants, as the case may be) from tech leaders to be more responsible for the news we share, and how we digest it. Facebook and Google launched a new initiative this week to battle “fake news” sites (that is a kind word for it) and then a mastermind of spreading lies spoke to the Washington Post about his effect on the presidency.
You have seen them. Some crazy headline like Goldie Hawn has passed away, but when you click through it’s merely a blog post selling skin cream (more specifically, an ad pretending to be editorial, much like the ones in print magazines that were forced to have a huge “ADVERTISEMENT” headline added to the top).
In the case of the election, there were misleading and downright untrue “news stories” that flew around social media like wildfire. At one point my aunt said to me, “how do you even keep track of it all?”
It’s difficult. Continue reading…