Our goal today is to examine what happens when fake news spreads and to identify specific actions we can take to verify news stories, photographs and other sources of online information.
Fake news is no longer a matter of the occasional hoax. There is growing evidence that fake news has the
power to shape public opinion and even sway elections. As more of us get our news online, it is increasingly vital that we know how to verify sources and spot fake news or images, even though they often appear indistinguishable from a reliable source.
Step 1. Quick write
In your journal, consider the following question in writing.
Once you are done, compare your answers with 1-2 partner(s) and then we will briefly share around the table.
Step 2. Fukushima Daisies
In March 2011, an earthquake of the coast of Japan produced a tsunami wave that in turn caused a series of nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The following image was posted on Imgur, a photo sharing website, in July 2015.
Does this image provide strong evidence of conditions near the Fukushima plant? Together, we will identify questions we might ask ourselves to decide.
Step 3. What can we do?
Read the following three sources that provide some background about fake news, including why it is important, how it is produced and circulates, and what we can do as individuals to avoid its influence:
Questions to consider as you read and reflect on the articles above:
For our next assignment, we will turn back to where we left off in the Civil War: