As we approach World Press Freedom Day, this year there is sadly little to celebrate and much to defend. Press freedom around the world is under siege, misinformation is rampant, and journalists continue to be arrested and even killed in the line of duty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these three threats and provides cover to authoritarian leaders already intent on curbing press freedom.
Misinformation about COVID-19 is still spreading almost as fast as the coronavirus itself. People are understandably anxious for news about how to stay safe amid the pandemic, but many are turning to two fonts of misinformation: social media and their immediate personal networks. Much of the information shared on social media or among family and friends reappears almost as quickly as it is debunked.
TikTok has quickly grown to become one of the most popular social media apps in the mobile industry. While it’s not officially supposed to be used by anyone under 13 (and under-18s technically need approval from a parent or guardian), nobody’s enforcing the age limits.
Only slightly more than half of Americans find that it is simple to determine if something is either news or opinion. The worst area of confusion is social media, where just 43 percent of people said they could easily sort news from opinion.
A warm welcome back to all our news literacy students and NewsLiteracyMatters.com subscribers. Spring classes begin today at Hunter College, which means our website is back in business. And just in time for the first-ever National News Literacy Week.
Facebook’s refusal to censor political speech or false ads from politicians has given rise to a basic question: Who is considered a politician?
As a critical news consumer, it is important to remember that even major news outlets make mistakes. Case in point: a video from Kentucky misrepresented as one from Syria.
In the midst of political protests, road blockages, and deadly conflict in Bolivia, raw information, misinformation and disinformation are all spreading rapidly across social media platforms. Thankfully, two relatively new fact-checking teams at ChequeaBolivia and Bolivia Verifica are helping the public determine what is real news and what is fake.
Fake news stories about the 2020 election on Facebook are being produced and viewed at an unprecedented rate.
Recycled, outdated news stories are yet another threat to news consumers–especially if they get their news on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.