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Welcome! This guide can be used by anyone with interest in Media Literacy, but is primarily for use by the Fulbright visiting scholars program at The Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.
"Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy. " (Center for Media Literacy, 2020)
Confirmation Bias is the tendency to look for information that supports, rather than rejects, one’s preconceptions, typically by interpreting evidence to confirm existing beliefs while rejecting or ignoring any conflicting data (American Psychological Association)
Rate you own Bias is a tool that encourages users to explore and check their own biases. Click here to get started.
What is Disinformation?
False information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media. (Oxford Dictionaries)
Image source:First Draft
Read more about detecting mis and disinformation on the First Draft Footnotes website.
Further Reading on Disinformation
Announcing the new Disinfo Defense Toolkit! (2020, October 7). Reframe. https://www.reframementorship.org/disinfo-defense-toolkit/ Curated by ReFrame & PEN America.
Global Disinformation Index. (n.d). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://disinformationindex.org/about/. Website. Go to Research tab > Reading List to get additional round ups of articles on this topic.
Mitchell, A., Jurkowitz, M., Oliphant, J. B., & Shearer, E. (2020, September 16). Political Divides, Conspiracy Theories and Divergent News Sources Heading Into 2020 Election. Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. https://www.journalism.org/2020/09/16/political-divides-conspiracy-theories-and-divergent-news-sources-heading-into-2020-election/
Security.org. (2021, August 16). Misinformation and Disinformation: A guide for protecting yourself: includes resources, fact-checking and talking to your children. . https://www.security.org/digital-security/misinformation/
TED. (2020 January 16). How we can protect truth in the age of misinformation/ Sinan Aral [Video]..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ORAKULel4
Misinformation is false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive (Oxford Dictionaries). However as opposed to disinformation, misinformation can sometimes be shared innocently without the intention of deception.
Image source: Neurologicablog.
Seven types of mis/ disinformation
Satire or Parody - Content has no intention to cause harm but has potential to fool.
False Connection - Headlines or visuals don't support assertions of content.
Misleading Content - Misleading use of information to frame an issue or individual.
False Context - Genuine content is shared with false contextual information.
Imposter Content - Genuine sources are impersonated.
Manipulated Content - Genuine information is manipulated in order to deceive.
Fabricated Content - New content is false, and is designed to deceive and do harm.
According to Pew Research Center report, most of us get our news from social media. Social media news feeds use algorithms to show us posts that align with our opinions and interests. That means we usually see news articles that confirm our own viewpoints. This phenomenon is called the "filter bubble."
More resources on the role of Social Media
Twitter bots are automated user accounts that interact with Twitter using an application programming interface (API). These bots can be programmed to perform tasks normally associated with human interaction, including follow users, favor tweets, direct message (DM) other users and, most importantly, they can tweet content, and retweet anything posted by a specific set of users or featuring a specific hashtag. (Symantec Enterprise)
There's multiple criteria to judge whether a particular Twitter account is a bot. Read about them here and learn to recognize some key telltale signs such as:
Bot Check Tools
Not sure if you're dealing with a bot or an actual person? Try these tools:
NOTE: There is no foolproof bot detection app as of yet; the above tools may yield false positives or negatives over time. Use your best judgment!
Internet trolling is a behavior in which users post derogatory or false messages in a public forum such as a message board, newsgroup or social media. The purpose of trolling is to provoke others into displaying emotional responses or to normalize tangential discussion either for amusement or personal gain.
Image source: Wesley college
1. No response- If you post a follow-up message, you are contributing to the resulting clamor and most likely delighting the troller. (Source- Indiana University)
2. Let your child know they can tell you anything
3. Be involved in your child’s online life – don’t leave them alone online
4. Bring kindness back to the Internet
Watch: Example of internet Trolling below: