Letter: News needs to be consumed more critically on social media

Most of you reading this probably get your news from social media first. You might see something on Facebook/Twitter/Reddit/Snapchat and then go to a news site like Metro, the Globe and Mail, or the Charlatan, but how many of you turn on the T.V. at a set time every day and watch your news? And how many of you even have a T.V. with cable if you’re a university student living away from your parents? Getting news from social media isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but social media algorithms definitely show you news catered to what you’ve searched before. Facebook tracks your click history (and even allows you to hide content from any source you wish), making the news we […]

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Opinion: Engagement defeats “fake news”

The rise of the internet was supposed to be the dawn of a new era, with access to information that previous generations could only dream about. It was meant to bring people together from across the world and to foster educated and thoughtful debates. Unfortunately, the idealistic vision I just described couldn’t be farther from today’s reality. Far too often in an increasingly polarized society, people are ignoring the vast resources at their disposal and are instead cherry-picking questionable evidence to back up their claims. The abandonment of fact-based research is making it extremely difficult for people to grasp the complexities of issues, or acknowledge that another side to an argument might exist. Many are intent on decrying the rise […]

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Students can’t discern what is real news: study

A recent study by the Stanford Graduate School of Education revealed that many students ranging from middle school through college can’t distinguish between real news and sponsored content. Although young people are fluent in social media, they are not savvy about what they find online, according to the report. It described young people’s ability to reason about information on the internet as “bleak.” The study, titled Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning, entailed exercises such as determining which tweets are the most trustworthy, evaluating whether to trust a photograph or not, and verifying a claim about a controversial topic. More than 80 per cent of students believed native advertisements, identified with the words “sponsored content,” were the real […]

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