News You Can Use – tip sheet

Online news is one of the hardest things to verify. Sometimes early reports that turn out not to be true still circulate on the Internet, and people may spread false reports for commercial or malicious reasons, or even just for “fun.”

When satirical late-night host Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness” in 2005 – to describe how emotions can sometimes outweigh facts in what we want to believe – little did he know that this would be the harbinger of one of the biggest challenges of the digital age: knowing how to separate truth from fiction in the information we encounter online.

This public awareness program, created in partnership between MediaSmarts and the Facebook Canadian Election Integrity Initiative, focuses on authentication of online information.

Authenticating Information

Whether you are doing a little research, following a news story, or sharing interesting things on social media, the Internet is a never-ending source of information. But how do you know if that information is true, unbiased and relevant?  This section helps you sharpen your critical thinking skills in finding, recognizing and sharing quality info online.

MediaSmarts is partnering with Facebook Canada to help Canadians become better informed readers in the digital age. False online content isn’t a new problem, and it’s not unique to Facebook, but it is up to all of us to fight it. Many of us lack the search, authentication and critical thinking skills we need to find accurate information online and to recognize false or misleading content. That’s why MediaSmarts has partnered with Facebook to help build the authentication skills of all Canadians.

How to recognize false content online - the new 5 Ws

Did you know that almost a quarter of adults have shared a false news story, and that we’re least likely to fact-check news and other things that come to us through people we know and trust on social networks (even though for many people these are their most common sources of news)?  

On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.